David Moyes remains hopeful that Michail Antonio has not played his last game of the season as West Ham chase down a Champions League place.
Antonio, the Hammers’ only senior striker, is currently out of action with his third hamstring problem of the season. And with only a month of the campaign remaining there are fears Antonio may have to watch from the sidelines as West Ham try to maintain their challenge to finish in the top four.
But Hammers boss Moyes said: “Am I hopeful? Yes, more than hopeful. We have to hope somewhere along the line we can get Micky back in.
“We hope we can get Micky, Declan Rice, Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku back in amongst it because they have been important players throughout the year, so we are aware if we can get them back it will help us.”
Moyes confirmed Jesse Lingard will be fit to face Chelsea on Saturday despite limping out of last weekend’s defeat at Newcastle.
The on-loan Manchester United forward, who has scored nine goals in 10 matches since joining the Hammers, this week spoke movingly about struggling with his mental health during lockdown.
Moyes added: “I think it is good that Jesse spoke up.
“I think everybody going through these times has had issues and we are really fortunate in football that we can come in and go to work and run about with our pals, play football and train.
“We are really fortunate there, whereas there are others who haven’t been in that situation. But I think it is important that people do speak up because life has been difficult for most over the last 18 months or so.
Things getting better for Lingard
“But let’s hope that everything is getting better – and it certainly is getting better for Jesse.
“His performances, his football, he is great fun around the training ground and sometimes you know, yeah he is a big kid, but sometimes we like that. Sometimes it is good to be big kids!”
The Hammers will also be without defender Craig Dawson against Chelsea after his red card at St James’ Park.