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West Ham having to claw back points, says Michail Antonio

Capital gains: Antonio celebrates after netting West Ham’s third goal in the win over Cardiff PICTURE: GETTY

MICHAIL ANTONIO says West Ham are determined to make up for lost time after their poor start to the season.

The Hammers made it back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time in almost two years by beating Cardiff 3-1 at the London Stadium on Tuesday.

Two goals from Lucas Perez — his first in the top flight for precisely 700 days — and Antonio’s first league goal of the campaign lifted West Ham towards mid-table.

Their prospects suddenly look a lot brighter than after the first four matches of the season, all of which they lost.

With fixtures against Crystal Palace, Fulham, Watford, Burnley and Southampton to come in December, Antonio feels his side should be targeting a place in the top half by the turn of the year.

‘We’ve scored six goals in the last two games now,’ he said. ‘We didn’t get any points from the first four games this season, so now we’re clawing back those points we missed out on at the start.

‘We need to take points from the teams around us in the next few games and see how high we can go in the league.’

However, the Hammers are assessing an injury to key forward Marko Arnautovic which if, as feared, is a hamstring problem, could rule the Austria forward out of the busy festive period.

Cardiff remain without an away win this season but would have taken a first-half lead had Joe Ralls converted a penalty.

Instead, they only managed a stoppage-time consolation through Josh Murphy.

Boss Neil Warnock is desperate for reinforcements in January with a midfielder and a striker his priorities.

‘I’m hoping we can get three or four to help the lads that are here,’ he said.

Arnautovic is aiming for a speedy comeback for Irons

WEST HAM forward Marko Arnautovic has vowed to ‘come back strong and quick’ after being sidelined with a hamstring problem.

The Austria striker, who has scored five goals for the Hammers this season, was forced off during the first half of Tuesday night’s 3-1 Premier League win over Cardiff.

Arnautovic posted pictures of his leg in a straight knee sleeve on Instagram and wrote: ‘Lets Go I will do everything to be back for my team @westham.

‘Thank you so much for all your messages. I will be out for a while but will do everything to come back strong and quick’.