Michail Antonio names West Ham support as key factor behind Europa League run

By Staff

West Ham footballer Michail Antonio expressed his confidence in his team’s chances in the Europa League. Fresh off an astounding 5-0 victory against Freiburg at the London Stadium, he believes that home advantage might just carry them to the final in Dublin come May.

Facing Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter-finals does not shake Antonio’s faith in the Hammers last season’s Europa Conference League victors. He insists: “Yes, 100 per cent, especially if it’s the second game,” and adds that they always prefer having the second leg at home to rouse their fans’ support.

His optimism remains stalwart even in the face of uncertainty: “It doesn’t matter if we feel we’re down, doesn’t matter if we’re losing. We believe when we come back here we can win the game. We have that confidence.

“One thing with us in Europe, we definitely know how to play, we definitely know how to go far. So hopefully we can do what we did last year.

“We always think about winning it. Whenever we get into Europe we believe and we have got the confidence to win it. There’s some big names out there obviously, but one thing we know how to do is win games in Europe.”

“We got the final last year and won it, the year before we got to the semis and felt like we should have done better. So hopefully this year we can do it again.”

Lucas Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen, Aaron Cresswell and Mohammed Kudus, who scored two goals including a stunning solo effort, helped West Ham secure a 5-1 aggregate win over Freiburg. The victory led to West Ham reaching a European quarter-final for the third season in a row.

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