West Ham boss David Moyes says Michail Antonio has ‘another few gears to reach’ in attack for the club.
The Englishman returned to the team recently after picking up an injury in October.
He scored his fourth goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.
Speaking about Antonio, Moyes told reporters: “It is really difficult for us at the moment. Although I think if anything Michail has been managing himself in the games well.
“I don’t think he is at full tilt at the moment, I think he is doing well, but I know there are another couple of gears for him to go into.
“I think he is protecting himself slightly at the minute, but he is an important part of the team for us, as you saw with his goal on Saturday.
“He got us the result, so we have got to be careful with him, but we also want to win games and we want to keep moving forward, so we will try and get Micky ready.”
Antonio has struggled with injuries during his career.
As the Hammers sold Sebastien Haller to Ajax, Antonio remains their only option up front.
The striker will have to maintain his fitness if West Ham are to remain in the top ten.
The club placed an official bid for Youssef En-Nesyri this morning, although it was rejected.
Speaking about the January transfer window, Moyes continued: “I think it helped us greatly last year. I am not sure we would have been a Premier League club if we hadn’t done business last January.
“But it has never been a great window – nobody has got much time and you are not sure of players’ availability.
“If we can find somebody who we think can add to the squad and help us get better then we are going to try and do that.
“We have had one or two offers for players either rejected or not available or the clubs want too much money, so it is not as if we are not trying.
“If we don’t get anybody in then that’s the way it is going to be, but it is a transfer window and we are out there trying.”