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#PLStories- #DeclanRice is adamant West Ham will not let their place slip in top four battle #WHUFC

Declan Rice

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West Ham’s Declan Rice has given a warning to all of West Ham’s rivals as the fight for European football next season hots up.

Declan Rice said: “We’ve given them their toughest test in the 20 games that they’ve won. I thought you saw a different West Ham today, one which was confident and really believed they could take it to City. Even when we were sat in for long periods of the game, we actually had better chances. We took the ball from the back really confidently and were playing out from the back. Some people see that as a heart attack when we’re passing it around at the back, but we’ve got that confidence and belief in ourselves that we can play out, and we did. We had so many good chances and it was one of those that when you come back to the changing room you’re gutted. I’m standing here talking to you, but inside I’m hurt and I’m gutted we didn’t come away with something.”

With less than a third of the season remaining West Ham have had to readjust their ambitions for the season. At the start of the campaign, Moyes wanted to make sure The Hammers were not involved in a relegation battle, something he had achieved by mid-January. Now all eyes, including those of the players are set on European qualification and Rice is adamant West Ham are up for the fight.

Declan Rice added: “We’re not letting this slip now. We’ve got Leeds next and we’re pushing on and we’re going to keep working hard. We’ve got 12 games left and we know what’s ahead of us. We’ve got a good squad here, a great mentality and if we perform like that, there is no reason why we can’t stay high in the top half.”

This determination from Rice is perhaps one of the reason’s why he has emerged as a leader at such a young age, his will to win and brutal honesty seems to have rubbed off on those around him:

Declan RIce said: “A year ago, no beating around the bush, we were a poor side. We’d have a couple of games when we were good, then have games when we were poor, but now you can see our performances week-in week-out are full of heart and desire and we’re leaving everything on the pitch. You saw Vladi at the end with his hands on his head and the lads were gutted in the changing room. It wasn’t like that a year ago, but something’s really changed and things are improving.”

The Hammers vice-captain saw his side lose 2-1 on the weekend to league leaders Manchester City but Chelsea’s goaless draw with Manchester United saw West Ham remain in the top-four and London’d highest-ranked club. Rice spoke following the game and his pride in his team’s performance was clear for all to see.

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