Rice: Getting to 50 West Ham appearances will be special

Declan Rice

Saturday’s London Stadium meeting with Watford is set to provide Declan Rice with a significant milestone.

The young Hammer is yet to reach his 20th birthday, but if selected in Manuel Pellegrini’s midfield against the Hornets, he will bring up a half-century of appearances in Claret and Blue.

Rice has come a long way since debuting at Burnley on the final day of the 2016/17 season, and he is ready to continue his upward trajectory in a West Ham United shirt.

“Saturday will be my 50th game for West Ham and I never thought I’d get there at 19,” said Rice. “My target at the start of the season was to hit 50 appearances. Obviously when a new manager comes in you don’t know how he’s going to go and whether he’ll have you or not, so It will be special to hit that.

“Making 50 appearances at 19, I can aim really high and that’s what I have to aim for now. I have to be established, playing week in week out and racking up the appearances for this club, which would be really special.”

Rice wants to mark his achievement with three points on Saturday, and with four consecutive victories under their belts the Hammers will be in a confident frame of mind.

“It’s a tremendous mood,” Rice confirmed. "All the lads are buzzing with four wins on the bounce.

“Watford will be a tough game. We’re on the same amount of points as them, and w’ve had two different starts to the season. They won their first four and we lost them, but now we’ve caught them up on points.

“Home games are so important for us. We can’t afford to lose games because we need to make it a fortress. We know Watford have quality, but we have quality too and we’re confident going into the game that we’re going to get another three points."