Friday 08 Feb
Updated Friday 08 Feb 06:30
Interviews

Rice: We needed to pull our fingers out

Declan Rice challenges Adam Lallana

 

Declan Rice says West Ham United will take inspiration from their all-round team performance against Liverpool when they head to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Hammers ended a disappointing run of three straight defeats in Premier League and Emirates FA Cup when they held the title-chasing Reds at London Stadium on Monday evening in a game that could easily have gone their way.

And Rice, who revealed the players had held a meeting following their 3-0 loss at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 29 January, said the Irons are determined to hit the same levels at Selhurst Park.

The players just said after the Wolves game we needed to sort things out

Declan Rice

“Without a doubt, we will be looking to win this weekend,” he confirmed. “If we go out there with the same attitude and desire, and with Marko [Arnautovic] back as well, we’re looking good and looking fit and we’re going to go out there on Saturday and try to get the three points.

“After a performance like Monday night, the spirit is always going to be massive. It’s always been there but to be honest, after the January we’ve had and losing all those games, we all had a meeting with each other and said ‘We need to pull our fingers out because it’s not West Ham, they’re not the results we want’ and now we want to push on at Palace.

“The players just said after the Wolves game we needed to sort things out and watch the Wolves game back and see the problems we were creating and what we weren’t doing and on Monday night we changed things around.

“We talked about working harder off the ball, defending set pieces, just the basics really, which we didn’t do in the previous three games when the other team wanted it more than we did and won. Against Liverpool, we wanted it more than they did and we fought and got a point.”

 

Declan Rice wins a header above Divock Origi

 

West Ham have now held Liverpool and Chelsea, defeated Manchester United and Arsenal and run Tottenham Hotspur close this season.

And the 20-year-old said the challenge now for the Hammers is to raise their game against a Palace side who kick-off Saturday’s game six points and two places below them in the Premier League table.

“It was a massive result,” said Rice. “I think where we have had some bad results in January, at AFC Wimbledon, Bournemouth and Wolves, we needed a big performance from everyone on Monday and I think a point was deserved.

“Against a team like Liverpool, you’ve got to be on your game, with the quality they’ve got, but we also know the quality we’ve got, and we’ve made it tough for every one of the big six at London Stadium this season.

“They’re frustrated but we got a deserved point and were unlucky not to come away with all three as we had some great chances. I thought we were excellent and we need to build on that now.”