Rice – We won’t be taking Norwich lightly



  • West Ham United take on Norwich City in Premier League 2 at Carrow Road on Monday evening
  • Declan Rice believes the Hammers should focus on their own game despite Norwich’s poor start to the season
  • Centre-half has been receiving advice from former Irons and England defender Matthew Upson

Declan Rice insists he and his West Ham United teammates will not be getting ahead of themselves when they come up against the Premier League 2’s bottom club.

The 17-year-old has been at the heart of the young Hammers defence so far this season and has been impressed by the start his team has made.

Terry Westley’s men face Norwich City on Monday and will go into the Carrow Road fixture as favourites because of the Canaries’ poor form of late.

“We won’t get ahead of ourselves. We know that they’ve lost the last four games but we won’t let that affect us at all,” said Rice.

“If we start thinking about it (their form), we’ll start doing things that we don’t usually do. We’ve just got to go out there and play our normal game.”

The centre-back has been an ever-present in defence for the PL2 side this season and his form was rewarded with a call-up to the Republic of Ireland U19 squad during the international break.

Rice was making the step up from the Irish U17 side and appeared in both fixtures against Austria.
Since returning from international duty, he appeared at the centre of defence alongside Academy graduate Reece Oxford in the 2-2 draw with Wolves.

“Last time against Wolves was the first time I’d played with Reece. I thought we clicked really well together, talking loads, covering each other,” he said.

“He’s a lot of help on the field, he’s vocal and gives me lots of advice and I give him advice. Having us at the back, two strong talkers, benefits the team a lot. We can see the game really well.”

Rice revealed that he is also receiving advice from former Hammers and England centre-back Matthew Upson.

The pair meet on a regular basis to go through areas where the 17-year-old can improve his game.

Rice said: “I’ve been happy with myself over the last few games but there’s areas I need to look at though with my performance.

“Matt Upson has been helping me, looking through videos and we’ve set myself some objectives for the next few games.”

All tickets for Monday's match at Carrow Road are free. For further information, call Norwich City on 0844 826 1902.