Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma can play important role in Jarrod Bowen absence says Moyes

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David Moyes has backed Michail Antonio to rediscover his goalscoring touch as West Ham enter a crucial stage of the season.

The Hammers striker made a blistering start to the 2021/22 season where he scored six goals in his first either Premier League matches though his form has dipped since.

Antonio currently has just one goal to his name for West Ham in 2022 and has only found the back of the net four times in all competitions since October.

He has also chipped in with nine assists throughout the campaign though, with West Ham’s fate in the Europa League and Premier League still undecided Moyes is hoping he’ll end the season strongly.

“Scoring goals is important for the team and important for him,” the West Ham boss said in his press conference on Friday afternoon.

“But you know, we’ve been pretty good with other people stepping up. Micky is more than just a goalscorer for us, he’s someone who runs the line, he takes the weight off other players, he creates a lot of opportunities.

“It’s been a tough period for him because he started the season so well and he played so well at the end of the last season. So I think we just need to keep supporting him. I’m hoping his goals flow in the last ten games of the season.

“But I think his performances have improved recently. I think that was my bigger concern. I think good performance tends to lead to goals. So I’m hoping that Mick keeps up his performing levels.

“We’re not daft though, the last two or three games we’ve lacked our quality in the goal-scoring areas, which may have made a difference.”

Moyes confirmed earlier in his press conference that West Ham would be without key forward Jarrod Bowen for their Premier League clash with Aston Villa at the London Stadium on Sunday.

Bowen has enjoyed a brilliant season for the Hammers and has 12 goals and 11 assists to his name from 39 appearances.

His absence on Sunday will be a blow for Moyes, but the Scotsman said it would be a good chance for other players like Said Benrahma to step up and be counted for.

The Algerian international scored just one goal in 33 games in his debut season for West Ham last year but has kicked on this campaign with eight strikes and four assists in 35 games.

“Said has shown exactly what he can do,” added Moyes. He showed it at the start of the season and showed great improvement coming back.

“His first season was quite difficult. At the start of this year, he was in really good form. I think all the same things still apply. Make the right decisions, choose the right pass at the right moment. Make the decision whether to take people on or to retain possession.

“So all those basic things because he’s important to us because he can make the difference. He’s a talented player. And we need those players just to find that little bit of difference, which would help us go over that line.”

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