Michail Antonio is one headed goal away from breaking a Premier League record and Slaven Bilic has told the West Ham star to make history at Leicester on Saturday.
The 26-year-old has scored 11 headers in 2016 — equaling Tim Cahill’s feat for Everton in 2010, which was the most in a calendar year.
With it being New Year’s Eve, this will be Antonio’s last chance to clinch the record for himself, but Bilic is backing him to do so after seeing him in training.
West Ham’s Michail Antonio is one headed goal away from breaking a Premier League record
Antonio has scored 11 headers in 2016 — equaling Tim Cahill’s feat for Everton in 2010
‘It is already a hell of an achievement,’ Bilic said. ‘He is a big player. He deserves everything and is always there to score goals.
‘Every time I turn to my staff in training and ask who has scored a goal, they say it is always Antonio.
‘I would not say that we taught him to score. It’s his sheer determination, his hunger.
‘You have to keep him close to the box when we have the ball because his stats are unbelievable.
‘If you take him away from the box you will lose his goals, that could be 10, 15, 20 goals a season — nobody wants that.’
Claudio Ranieri is set to recall Riyad Mahrez on Saturday after dropping the PFA Player of the Year on Boxing Day.
Ranieri rested Mahrez following the 25-year-old’s poor run of form and Leicester were beaten 2-0 by Everton at home.
Slaven Bilic has told Irons star Antonio make history at Leicester on Saturday afternoon
Bilic wishes Ranieri would do so again on Saturday because he still thinks Mahrez is lethal.
‘I would like him to rest him again,’ Bilic said. ‘Of course he is a top player.
‘What did he say about Mahrez? He said only that he expects more from him because is the Player of the Year. He didn’t say something bad.
Claudio Ranieri is set to recall Riyad Mahrez on Saturday after dropping him on Boxing Day
‘He rates him as a player. He rates him even with this statement. He expects him to do better because he knows what he can do. For me, there is nothing wrong with it. Nothing. Zero.
‘I think the whole team is going to be on their toes.’
West Ham travel to the King Power Stadium looking for a fourth straight Premier League win.