Rice: It’s massive for us to put on a performance
Declan Rice knows the Hammers need to show a response when they welcome Sheffield United to London Stadium on Saturday.
West Ham head into the meeting with the Blades looking to get back to winning ways after suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.
Rice admits that the performance at Everton on Saturday fell below his team’s usual standard, but is sure they can swiftly return to their early season form – especially back at London Stadium where they have tasted defeat just three times in 2019.
“We know we need to perform better than we did at the weekend,” he explained. “You have to be honest and it was shocking, we let the fans down, we let ourselves down.
“We reviewed the game and watching it back was tough because we all know we’re not those players. We could have played so much better. That’s in the past now, we’ll look forward to Saturday because there’s no better way to get over that than another game at home when we’ll try to get the three points.
“One win puts us back towards fifth, sixth position. We need to stay positive and we need everyone behind us on Saturday to be that twelfth man and push us on.
“Sheffield United have performed well – they’ve beaten Arsenal, drawn with Chelsea, narrowly lost to Liverpool so we know it’s going to be tough for us. But we’re the home team on Saturday and it’s massive that we go out there and put on a performance. Especially after the Everton game it’s going to be key that we get three points.”
There’s no better way to get over Everton than another game at home when we’ll try to get the three points
Rice has been impressed with the Blades’ start to the season, and says the Hammers will take the lessons learned from their last home outing against Crystal Palace into Saturday’s game.
He added: “I expect them to play the same way they have all season, behind the ball, but we’re going to need to break that down. We came up against that when we played Palace and we struggled at times, but we’ve learned from that and I think on Saturday you’re going to see a performance where we’re looking a real threat in front of goal.
“I know the way they play and know it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be physical. They were in the Championship and League One so we’re expecting a tough game..
“I’ll be seeing the overlapping centre-backs in midfield. It’ll be a bit strange for sure, but it’s one we need to adapt to and I think we can nullify them going forward if we get the defensive shape and tightness right.
“Nobes will get us fired up, the manager will get us fired up and we’re going to go out there wanting to put on a performance to make everything right.”