Winston Reid says he is ‘really pleased’ for Declan Rice after his young West Ham United teammate won the first Premier League Man of the Match award of his fledgling career.
Vice-captain Reid had a grandstand view as 18-year-old Rice produced an impeccable display in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, stifling in-form striker Harry Kane to help the Hammers collect a hard-earned point.
And the No2, who himself debuted at senior level for Danish club Midtjylland at the age of 17, has not been in the slightest bit surprised by the positive impact Rice has made at first-team level.
“Declan is not really new [to senior football] because he’s been up with us for a while now,” Reid observed. “He’s always really willing to learn and is a good young kid and I’m really, really pleased for him.
“I remember when I was 18, coming in and playing senior football, so I’m really pleased for him.”
While Rice took the Premier League and Sky Sports plaudits, Reid was also back to his best against Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
The centre-half blocked a team-high four shots, made five clearances and two interceptions as part of a resilient defensive display based on true team work, discipline and hard work.
“Going to Wembley, it was always going to be tough as Spurs are a very good team, but we had a gameplan and we stuck to it, dug in and put in a really good performance,” said the New Zealand captain. “I thought the boys worked really, really well, considering we played two days earlier [against West Bromwich Albion].
“It comes down to hard work. The guys have got good character and they’re putting in the hard yards on the training pitch and you can see we are getting the benefits and the results.
“We’ve gone to Wembley and got a point. We’d obviously loved to have won the game, but fair play to Spurs because they scored a good goal as well. We’ll take the point and move on.”
“Tottenham are a quality side and are always going to create chances, but I thought we tried to limit them as much as possible and everyone who started and came on put a big effort in. It’s tough during this period, with all the games, so credit to the guys and we move forward.”