Tuesday 14 May
Updated Tuesday 14 May 14:06
Interviews

Rice hoping England call cuts his summer holiday short!

 

Declan Rice is hoping his summer holiday is cut short by England manager Gareth Southgate.

West Ham United’s deep-lying midfielder jetted off to Abu Dhabi just hours after Sunday’s 4-1 Premier League win at Watford for some well-earned rest and relaxation.

But the 20-year-old would like his holiday to be interrupted by a call-up for the UEFA Nations League finals, which will take place in Portugal in June.

“Of course, I want to be in that England squad and that’s what I’m hoping,” Rice told West Ham TV. “That’s why I want it to be a short holiday. I’ve got to be prepared for anything, but I’d be delighted with that!”

We finished five points off seventh so if you look at it that way, it’s gutting, but it was a great season

Declan Rice

Rice completed an outstanding second season at first-team level by helping the Hammers sign-off 2018/19 with a thumping victory at Vicarage Road.

The visitors overcame a slow start to score first-half goals through Mark Noble and Manuel Lanzini before Hammer of the Year Lukasz Fabianski kept his side’s two-goal lead intact with a stupendous save from Troy Deeney in added time.

Gerard Deulofeu pulled one back after the break but once full-back Jose Holebas had been sent-off for pulling back Michail Antonio, West Ham pulled away with further goals from Marko Arnautovic and Noble late on, delighting Rice.

“It was unbelievable and I’m really happy,” he confirmed. “It was a great win and I’m delighted.

“Lukasz made a tremendous save at the end of the first half and then we were clinical in the second, so I thought it was a top performance.”

 

Declan Rice celebrates victory at Watford on Sunday
Declan Rice celebrates victory at Watford on Sunday

 

Sunday’s three points saw the Irons leapfrog the Hornets and secure a top-ten finish, leaving Rice with mixed feelings about the campaign as a whole.

“We finished five points off seventh so if you look at it that way, it’s gutting, but it was a great season,” he observed. “I think the lads have really worked hard and everyone deserves a really well-rested break, because people don’t really see what goes behind the scenes. We’re in every day, training hard, so it was nice to win on Sunday.

“For me personally, I don’t think I could have wished for a better season. I’m delighted to have done what I’ve done and I can’t wait to kick on again next season.”

 

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