Sunday 24 Feb
Updated Sunday 24 Feb 16:30
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Rice: I love playing the holding role in midfield

Declan Rice

Declan Rice was thrilled after playing a key role in helping West Ham United turn Friday night’s derby with Fulham around to win 3-1.

The Hammers made a slow start and trailed to Ryan Babel’s goal in the third minute, but they grabbed hold of the game before the interval and took the points thanks to strikes from Chicharito, Issa Diop and Michail Antonio.

Rice, alongside Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass in central midfield, was a central figure in wresting control away from the Cottagers and he revealed after the game how much he is enjoying filling that place in the team.

Watch highlights from Friday night's game here

He explained: “The manager’s been on at me all season to protect the back four and when we saw they were lining up with two up-front we knew they’d be going into the front men because they are big and physical.

“In the first ten minutes they got the better of it, and maybe I had to switch on more because Mitrovic was bringing the ball down and playing off that.

“From then on I thought we did much better, me, Nobes and Snoddy. I’ve been playing in midfield so much this season and I’m really enjoying it.

“That’s where I want to see my future. It’s handy that I can play at the back too, sometimes I still train at the back and it’s good to know the position.

“I love playing the holding role, but there’s still much to improve on."