Declan Rice: Let’s try and go and win something for this Club
Declan Rice has already achieved plenty in his short career, but now he wants to help West Ham United win the Emirates FA Cup.
The Hammers host EFL League One promotion-chasers Doncaster Rovers at London Stadium this afternoon, with the winners of Saturday’s fourth-round tie drawn to travel to Liverpool or Manchester United in the last.
So, while the task of reaching Wembley and a first final since 2006 is far from simple, the England international midfielder is setting his targets high.
“We’ve got Doncaster at home, they’re fourth in League One and doing really well so it’s not going to be an easy game and they’re going to want to come here and cause an upset, but we need to get through to the next round of the Cup,” he told West Ham TV following Tuesday’s 2-1 Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion.
“I think, if we can carry our form from the Premier League into the Cup, why can’t we go all the way? I know we’ve got Liverpool or Man United if we get through against Doncaster, but let’s try and put a Cup run together, because if we can get to Wembley for a semi-final, let’s try and go and win something for this Club.”
Reflecting on Tuesday’s victory – West Ham’s fourth in a row in all competitions – Rice agreed with manager David Moyes that the result had been achieved despite a subpar performance from his side.
“We didn’t play well against West Brom, let’s be honest,” he observed. “Against teams who come here and sit off us, we always seem to struggle – Fulham did it to us and we struggled, on Tuesday night we struggled and there was another game as well where we struggled. We just need to relax, pass the ball and shuffle other teams around and we have got players to unlock teams and you saw that in the second half when we looked much more fluent.
“We need to stop giving away silly free-kicks, especially against teams like West Brom who will keep putting the ball in the box and putting us under pressure. So, it wasn’t the best performance, but who cares? A win’s a win and we’re up to seventh.”
As Rice said, West Ham’s win took them up to seventh on Tuesday evening with 32 points – their best haul after 19 games of a top-flight season in 35 years – and the midfielder is rightly proud of the team’s efforts so far in 2020/21.
“We’re feeling good because it’s a massive improvement on last year,” said the 22-year-old. “This time last year we had 19 points, but we’re now on 32 points and we’re looking forward and to the top half of the table. That’s what West Ham is about, it’s what the fans want and what us as players want, so long may this continue. “