Captain Rice hails unbelievable comeback

Declan Rice in action


  • PL2 captain, Declan Rice led his side into the 2016/17 PL2 Play-Off Final following the 2-1 comeback win over Wolves on Monday evening
  • The win means West Ham will play Newcastle United at St James’ Park for a place in PL2 Division One next season
  • Rice has consistently impressed this season and is now enjoying a run in Slaven Bilic’s 1st Team match day squad.

West Ham United’s PL2 captain Declan Rice described his side’s last minute Play-off Semi Final win over Wolverhampton Wanderers as unbelievable.

The Hammers came from behind on Monday evening, with Martin Samuelsen’s stoppage time penalty settling a dramatic tie at Molineux. Rice played a starring role in the win, with a dominant display at the back combined with two killer through balls which led to both goals.

“We went 1-0 down when we shouldn’t have and Terry [Westley] just said ‘keep going’ because we were dominating the game” the defender explained.

The Hammers went in at the break 1-0 down after Wolves’ Sylvain Deslandes headed in from close range, but a resilient and determined second half display by West Ham was eventually rewarded through goals from Jahmal Hector-Ingram and Samuelsen.

Rice speaking after the Wolves win
“It’s unbelievable. I said to the boys at the end there, that’s the best we’ve grafted out and tried getting a result. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve had all season.

“Terry warned me and Tunji [Akinola] that we’d be coming up against really strong, physical strikers. I’ve played against them before and I know how to deal with them, it’s nothing different. I thought I played well and I was really pleased with my performance.”

Friday night was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever been a part of. It was buzzing, the fans, everything was rocking.

Declan Rice

The win means West Ham are through to the PL2 Play-Off Final where a place in next year’s Division 1 is the reward for the winner. After beating Fulham 2-0 on Monday evening, it is Newcastle United who the Hammers will face in next week’s final.

In two previous trips to St James’ Park, the Hammers have failed to come away with all the points, but Rice says the boys are still confident:

“It’s definitely [unfinished business].

Rice with 1st Team on Friday
“The times we’ve gone up there, we’ve come away with a point and we’ve lost but both times, we’ve dominated the game so we’ve got to go up there and get promoted.”

The Irish U19 international is quickly becoming the focus of plenty of attention following his impressive season with the PL2 side. Rice has trained regularly with the 1st Team in 2017 and manager Slaven Bilic has selected the defender in four of his Premier League match day squads, the latest being Friday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham.

“Friday night was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever been a part of” Rice said.

“It was buzzing, the fans, everything was rocking. Just being a part of the team for a couple of games – four games now, they’ve really taken to me, bringing me in with the staff, Nobes has been very good and the lads have been excellent with me to be fair.”