Declan Rice insists the Hammers have to target six pints from the next two games against Cardiff and Palace.

He told  “Saturday was a special start to this next run of games. We have got Cardiff and then Palace and we have got to look at it as a chance to get nine points.

“Since the Everton game, when we got our first win, things have started to click. We’ve played well in nearly all our games and we’ve either scored but conceded more and lost or we’ve played really well and won.

“We’re all excited for Tuesday now and to try and get another three points and move up the table.”

Declan Rice


Discussing his season so far he declared: “I’ve come up against world class players before, and you’ve got to think about it just a game of football. If you play well, you do and if you don’t, you don’t, and that’s how you’ve got to think about it.

“If you get too caught up about who they are, you can get fazed so you have to forget about that and just play your own game.

“I had a tough day last season where I got subbed off here at half-time, and that day probably made me into the player I am today. You need one of those games in your career. I was gutted, it was only my third game but it kicked me on for the rest of the season and from my mistake.

“I’ve grown so much since then, I’ve come on since then and you could see today I am a different player to last year. It was massive for us to get the three points [at Newcastle].”

ClaretandHugh says: Some of us have supported the Hammers long enough to have those words ‘fortune’s always dying ‘ at the forefront of our mind. Declan’s youthful optimism therefore is timely and the sort of stuff we all need to hear. It’s probably fair to say that were the team generally to have shown the same level of improvement as this young man we would likely be in the top three and four, for there can be few greater success stories than his anywhere over the course of the season so far. He is of course right about the next two games and if that Pellegrini message of “playing like a big team ” means anything then it starts here with three wins which will really have the team buzzing and the rest of us – probably albeit temporarily – forgetting that line from our favourite song. Cardiff and Palace sounds tasty but this game is played on grass not paper.