Friday 17 Jul
Updated Saturday 18 Jul 17:46
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Declan Rice: It's the best goal I've scored, for sure!

 

Declan Rice picked the most opportune of moments to notch his first goal of the season.

The England midfielder capped a fine first half display from West Ham United against Watford on Friday night, by firing a 33-yard rocket into the far corner of Ben Foster's net.

Rice's strike - just the third of his young career - gave the Hammers a 3-0 interval lead - an advantage they would not relinquish despite a vast improvement from the Hornets.

Troy Deeney's 48th minute goal could have led to a nervy period for the hosts, and although Rice expected more from his team in the second 45, he was still delighted with a huge victory as the Hammers made it ten points from their last five games.

He beamed: "It's the best I've scored - it's only my third goal! In the warm-up I scored two bangers, and Nobes and the lads are always on me in training to shoot.

"They tell me I need to shoot more because I have the ability. Goals is something I need to add to my game and the opportunity arose there on my right foot on he left hand side to bend it.

"When it hit the back of the net it was a great feeling because, with two games to go, it wouldn't have looked good with a blank and no goals this year! To get one on a special night like this, I'm over the moon."


Declan Rice celebrates his goal against Watford


Even better than the goal was the feeling of three points for Rice, as the Hammers took themselves to the cusp of securing their Premier League status.

"Tonight was massive," Rice said. "The lads knew before the game, the manager, everyone. We've had a week to prepare and that was a massive win. I'm so happy we could give the fans the three points tonight.

"We can't say we're safe yet because it's not mathematically done. Villa should have won at Everton and Bournemouth probably should have got something at City. It's not over until the final day and we'll keep fighting.

"A special mention to the manager as well because we've been working really hard since we came back in and to get three wins in five is something to be proud of as a team. They work non-stop, 24/7 to get the best team out, to get it tactically the best on the pitch and luckily enough we can give the three points to the manager as well tonight."

Rice still saw room for improvement, despite the Hammers making it two wins from two, scoring seven goals along the way - and he believes the team can be yet more ruthless.

"We started really well and went 3-0 up with three great goals," he explained. "We're disappointed with the second half though, even though we won 3-1.

"We need to stop being in the comfort zone where we're winning the game and drop back so deep. We let teams come back into the game and we need to see them off. Luckily enough in the end we got the win."
 

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