Tuesday 11 December 2018

Michail Antonio left out by injury-hit West Ham due to ‘disciplinary reasons’

The Hammers already had nine players sidelined.

Michail Antonio was left out by David Moyes
Michail Antonio was left out by David Moyes

By Andy Sims, Press Association Sport

Michail Antonio was left out of West Ham’s squad to face Crystal Palace for a breach of discipline.

Hardline boss David Moyes axed the fit-again forward after he was late for a team meeting, despite the depleted Hammers missing nine players through injury and suspension.

Moyes had to start with six defenders against the Eagles but his patched-up side battled to a 1-1 draw, and lifted themselves into the top half, thanks to Mark Noble’s penalty.

Moyes said: “For disciplinary reasons he was not involved tonight.

“He turned up late this morning for a meeting and it wasn’t the first time. I’m not having it at the club. I’ve said right from the start what it’s going to be like.

“It’s too often so I didn’t involve him tonight, otherwise I would have probably tried to get him on the bench. He’s apologised for it and because of that we move on.

“He’ll be back training tomorrow morning. On time!

“He’s got a chance of being in the squad (at Brighton on Saturday), but he would have been a big help for us tonight.”

Striker Andre Ayew was also absent as West Ham weigh up an offer from his former club Swansea ahead of Wednesday’s transfer deadline.

“We have had a bid from Swansea and we are considering it,” added Moyes.

“But we need to get players in and until we get players in I am not able to make any decision.”

Christian Benteke put Crystal Palace ahead with only his second goal of the season, a close-range header from Andros Townsend’s cross.

But Noble levelled from the spot with his 50th goal for the Hammers after Javier Hernandez was tripped by James Tomkins.

Worryingly for Eagles boss Roy Hodgson, forward Bakary Sako limped off in the first half and could face a long spell on the sidelines, heightening Palace’s need for attacking reinforcements.

“We won’t know until tomorrow but our medical staff are very good, they have an unerring knack of being right with their prognosis and they don’t think it looks good at all,” said Hodgson.

“There is the positivity of getting a point but it’s disappointing to pay a high price if Bakary is going to miss a large chunk of the season.

“We don’t have the luxury of being able to lose another forward player.

“I suppose you could say makes it a bit more imperative to bring players in as we are going to have a very small squad.

“(Sporting director) Dougie (Freedman) and (chairman) Steve (Parish) are working very hard. I don’t know where they are with the targets on our list but I’m hoping for some good news in the next few hours.”

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