Antonio relishing chance after England call-up

Michail Antonio is relishing his opportunity with the England senior side.

Antonio relishing chance after England call-up
Michail Antonio in his first England press conference | Photo: Getty Images

West Ham United forward, Michail Antonio has said that he is relishing his opportunity after receiving his first England call-up.

Following on from players before him

It has been a quite meteoric for the Hammers player, coming from non-league to be only uncapped player in Sam Allardyce's first England squad.

He had excellent first season at the Boleyn Ground, which saw him touted for this summer's Euro 2016 squad, but was left out by Roy Hodgson.

Antonio's excellent start to the season has seen him rewarded for his efforts, and he admitted that he will follow in the path of raw players like Ian Wright and Jamie Vardy.

"I'm not that academy player who's going to pick it up, pass it and be neat and tidy all the time," Antonio admitted in his press conference. "I'm a player who's going to get it and I'm going to run at the full-back."

Antonio continued: "I'm going to be running in behind. I'm quite ragged. People say raw and some people don't like raw." He believes that, "The way I play, some managers are going to like me, some managers are not going to like me."

West Ham's Michail Antonio in training with the England senior side | Photo: Getty Images
West Ham's Michail Antonio in training with the England senior side | Photo: Getty Images

Overwhelming feeling

Allardyce will be looking to impress in his first two games in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The Three Lions will take on both Slovakia and Malta, and Antonio admitted that it was a overwhelming feeling to be called up by the former England manager.

"I'm overwhelmed. I got slightly emotional when I found out," admitted Antonio. He concluded, "It's just one of those things that I've always dreamt of, playing for England, as a kid, so now for it to happen after I've worked my way from non-league to where I am now, I am just so happy."

England will take on Slovakia in their 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Stadion Antona Malatinskeho on Sunday, September 4 with kick-off at 5pm BST.