Monday 03 Dec
Updated Monday 03 Dec 12:30
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Rice: Nine points must be the target this week

Rice: Nine points must be the target this week

 

Declan Rice says West Ham United must target two more wins this week following his side’s impressive 3-0 victory at Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Hammers host Cardiff City on Tuesday before city rivals Crystal Palace also make the trip to London Stadium four days later in the Premier League.

And after such a good result at St. James’ Park at the weekend, Rice wants his team to take the confidence they gained in the north east back into their two home fixtures.

He said: “Saturday was a special start to this next run of games. We have got Cardiff and then Palace and we have got to look at it as a chance to get nine points. 

“Since the Everton game, when we got our first win, things have started to click. We’ve played well in nearly all our games and we’ve either scored but conceded more and lost or we’ve played really well and won.

“We’re all excited for Tuesday now and to try and get another three points and move up the table.”

Rice featured in central midfield on Saturday – as he has done for the majority of this campaign – and was one of the visitors’ standout performers in the game which was won by two Chicharito goals followed by Felipe Anderson’s fifth of the season.

It was massive for us to get the three points [at Newcastle]. We have got Cardiff and then Palace and we have got to look at it as a chance to get nine points. 

Declan Rice

Declan Rice

 

And with club captain Mark Noble returning to the starting XI to play alongside him, Rice explained the importance of having such experience around him when coming up against Premier League-quality talent.

“Playing alongside Nobes helps you out so much, and having so many experienced players around you is great,” he reflected. I think we’ve won once [at St. James’ Park] in 20 years so to win 3-0, keep a clean sheet and play so well is special.

“I’ve come up against world class players before, and you’ve got to think about it just a game of football. If you play well, you do and if you don’t, you don’t, and that’s how you’ve got to think about it. 

“If you get too caught up about who they are, you can get fazed so you have to forget about that and just play your own game.

“I had a tough day last season where I got subbed off here at half-time, and that day probably made me into the player I am today. You need one of those games in your career. I was gutted, it was only my third game but it kicked me on for the rest of the season and from my mistake.

“I’ve grown so much since then, I’ve come on since then and you could see today I am a different player to last year. It was massive for us to get the three points [at Newcastle].”