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Moyes: Antonio deal shows West Ham in control

West Ham manager David Moyes says he is delighted the club acted early to secure “instrumental” Michail Antonio down to a new contract.

Antonio, 30, who has signed a new deal until 2023, scored eight goals in six games at the end of last season to help the Hammers avoid the drop, and Moyes is hoping for more of the same.

“He’s been really important, certainly since lockdown,” Moyes said. “He’s been instrumental to a lot of goals in how he’s played.

“He had an option we had to take up by the end of January and we were happy to take it up. I’m pleased. It’s good the club had things in control and I’m thrilled we’ve got Mickey sorted.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham’s draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League

“All I need to do now is get him fit and firing and ready to play the way he has in recent weeks.”

Moyes is approaching the one-year anniversary of his return to West Ham, since when he has guided them to safety and then overseen a strong start to this season.

Moyes credited the club’s recruitment and the improving fitness levels of his players for West Ham’s current eighth place standing ahead of Monday’s match against Chelsea, live on Sky Sports.

Monday 21st December 7:30pm Kick off 8:00pm

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“We’ve worked hard,” he said. “We want to try and improve. When I took over just about this time a year ago we were in the bottom three going into the first game, but we’ve made improvements, we’ve made good recruitments and it’s given us a chance.

“But, more importantly, the players got themselves in good condition with their fitness levels and we improved our attitude all round.

“[We correctly identified] what we needed, what we needed to add. We needed legs, more speed, to change the attitude regarding resilience but you can’t buy it in all the time, you have to work on it.

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Moyes believes the Premier League is as competitive as it has ever been, insisting there is not much to separate the teams this season

“We have had a good start to this season, we want to keep it going. The additions we have made to the squad have helped and we need to do that in the future.

“It doesn’t happen overnight, you can’t expect it to go in the right direction. But I am really pleased with how the players have done, they have been exceptional so far.”

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