Declan Rice: We know it's time to put points on the table

Declan Rice

Declan Rice says West Ham United need to build on a promising display at Arsenal last time out when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to London Stadium on Sunday.

The Hammers are searching for their first Premier League points of the new campaign and probably deserved more than the 2-1 defeat they suffered at Emirates Stadium a week ago, after creating a number of chances and seeing Eddie Nketiah steal a late winner.

For Rice, he doesn't want to come off the pitch this weekend with another hard luck story, but rather with three points in his back pocket against a team who reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals last term.

The England midfielder is sure that, should they continue along the path they showed in north London, the positive results will come.

"The result was tough to take at Arsenal," he admitted. "I did an interview after the game against Newcastle, in which I said we probably couldn’t have played any worse. Then, being captain for the Arsenal game, I said to the lads: 'We need a reaction tonight, regardless of how the result is going to go, we need to up our game'.  We did that and should have probably nicked it. 

"They had two shots on targets and scored two goals, which was hard to take especially given how many chances we created. But it was a massive reaction and a step in the right direction to where we want to head

"We've had two defeats which is not where we want to be, but I think if you look at the performances, it was a step up In the Arsenal game, and we need to step up for Wolves now. They’re a great side, but we’ve had a week to prepare and we’ll be ready for it."

Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek

Rice is likely to line-up in midfield alongside Tomas Soucek on Sunday, with the Czech Republic international having picked up from where he left off after completing a permanent move from Slavia Prague in the summer.

The pair have shown good signs of developing a successful partnership in the engine room of David Moyes' side and Rice is enjoying working alongside him.

"Tomas is very good," he continued. "He didn't speak English [when he joined], but he’s become really good already.

"We’ve just got an understanding on the pitch, obviously I’m more of a sitter, and with me there he’s got the licence to go into the box. Towards the end of last season he scored some crucial goals for us.

"He’s hit the bar already for us this year too so we want him in the area where he can score goals and he knows I’ll protect him behind."

The Hammers are in the midst of a tough league run which sees them take on six of last season's top eight finishers in a row, but Rice is unfazed by the fixture list and is sure that the points will come soon.

"They are big games," he added. "Last season, these are the games we performed in. We performed at Arsenal and should have got something last week. Last year, Liverpool away, City away, we only lost narrowly, On paper it’s really tough, but we know we can get a result if we play to our own game.

"We’re ready for Wolves and we know it’s time to get points on the table."