Declan Rice feels West Ham United were unlucky not to get the three points against Manchester City but reckons the Hammers’ performance proved that some people had the wrong perception of the team.
It took a late goal from City’s David Silva to give Pep Guardiola’s team the victory after Angelo Ogbonna had headed the Irons in front prior to half-time. Nicolas Otamendi had equalised for City just after the break.
Despite losing the game Rice could find a lot of positives in West Ham’s showing and the defender also feels his side’s efforts went against what some pundits and football supporters expected to see.
“Without a doubt, there were a lot of positives to take from today’s showing,” The 18-year-old told whufc.com. “I think a lot of people thought we were down and out before the game even started. You read silly things and people seemed to believe we were going to come and get beat.
I think a lot of people thought we were down and out before the game even started...But I thought we were excellent. We were just unlucky today.
“But I thought we were excellent today. We need to be putting in that effort every single week. We were just unlucky today. No one even thought we would score. To go 1-0 up at half-time at the Etihad – they are top of the league. It was a good moment for us.
“We went in from the first half buzzing but we knew there was still 45 minutes to go. Second half, it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Despite ultimately losing the match on Sunday Rice thinks he and his West Ham teammates need to focus on the things that went well, and take those forward into the coming games.
He added: “I think we just need to look at the positives. We’ve got to get into training on Monday, watch the game back, look at the positives and take that. That’s the minimum every week now. That’s the standard that we need to be setting every week. There’s a lot to take from it.”
The match with Manchester City marked Rice’s first start for West Ham since David Moyes took charge of the team, with the Irish youngster relishing learning from the experienced manager.
Rice was thrilled to get the nod to play at the Etihad Stadium and feels the experience of featuring against City’s attackers – who have fired the team to the top of the Premier League – is one that he can learn a lot from.
“I’m loving training under David Moyes and his coaches,” Rice continued. “To get the start here, I never thought it would happen. Luckily, with the injuries, he’s believed in me and he has put me in, and I was happy with my performance.
“I’m only 18-years-old so to test yourself against the likes of Aguero, De Bruyne, Jesus and Silva, I’m only going to learn and get better from it. Today was a fantastic experience for me.”