The 30-year-old picked up a hamstring injury in December, keeping him out of five league matches for David Moyes’ Hammers.


Though he has since returned to action, Pearce feels that Antonio is still to get back up to speed fully.



However, Pearce also feels that there is the desire in Antonio to push the limits to see how good he can be and there will certainly be more to come from him in the future.


Reflecting back on the time when he signed the forward for Nottingham Forest, Pearce was quoted as saying by West Ham’s official site: “I signed Mich at Nottingham Forest seven years ago, so I knew the boy we took from Sheffield Wednesday then.



“Since then, and ever since I’ve come back into the club this time, his hold-up play has improved drastically.


“It startled me because that was an area of his play we felt he could improve on [then] – and he still can – but I think his hold-up play and his understanding of his runs have improved drastically.


“I think at the moment he’s still got to get into the groove that he had pre-injury – there’s certainly more to come.”



Antonio has five goals to his name this season, with two of them coming in his last two appearances against Burnley and West Brom.