Rice admits West Ham players look tired as pressure builds again

Declan Rice_West Ham United

Rice admits West Ham players look tired

Declan Rice laid it right on the line declaring our performance at Selhurst Park simply wasn’t good enough.

Four Palace goals was bad enough in itself and ensured that Nayef Aguerd’s late header  meant absolutely nothing as the team collapsed to its second defeat on the trot.

Tomáš Souček put the Hammers ahead, although the Eagles hit back with three first-half goals through Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp, before Eberechi Eze’s second-half penalty put the hosts out of sight.

The Hammers skipper was very unhappy describing the four goals as avoidable before admitting that  we couldn’t get it back with just three of our own.

It is four goals, which are avoidable,” Rice stated. “We were not good enough today. We put ourselves right in it and we couldn’t get back in it. We scored three goals, but it is not enough with where we are in the table.

“We needed to win that or at least get a point so to lose that – it really hurts. If you come away to a place like Palace, you can’t concede three goals [in the first half] because it gives you a mountain to climb. And you have a hard time winning matches when you concede that number of goals.”

Rice, who became just the sixth Hammer to reach 200 Premier League appearances, praised the Eagles’ midfield three, who worked tirelessly to limit West Ham’s chances from open play.

In truth, the Irons created little, although from corners they were excellent. Three goals from their first four corners put the Hammers in a position to take something from south London, although, as Rice explained a busy fixture list may have taken its toll as West Ham lacked the energy to push for an equaliser, despite their best efforts.

 “Whether it has come down to the number of games we have played in such a short space of time, with a few players looking a bit tired.

“Credit to Palace they defended well and really stopped us [creating chances in open play]. The three in midfield worked really hard to stop me and Lucas [Paquetá] from getting on the ball.

But conceding four goals away from home…it gives you a mountain to climb. It was a really tough one to take. We didn’t win enough duels and second balls. Their players were getting to the ball first and that can’t happen.

“But it is about staying focused and calm because conceding three goals in 15 minutes is so unlike us. It’s a real opportunity missed.”

Rice, and West Ham now turn their attention to our next two fixtures, as a busy fixture list sees the Irons face Manchester City and Manchester United in quick succession.

The skipper added: “We need to roll our socks up and go again. The schedule is frantic and non-stop, but it is about sticking together, especially with us still being in Europe.

“We have got Manchester City, which is going to be a tough test, and then Manchester United, which we are always up for with a big game at home. And hopefully, we can get something out of the next two.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • Hammers in the blood 1 says:

    We didn’t play the same way as the last few games . We were doing fine attacking , working hard and closing down . Why has Moyes changes that . Come on lads ⚒

  • hammerpete6 says:

    Here we go again – the fixtures are thick and fast, all top level, the players are tired, yet Moyes still doesn’t use the squad, and is still useless at using subs. He subbed at half time – Benny and Fornals again, because his strategy of Fornals at left wing back was rubbish. Then with everyone flat out he brings on Cornet with one minute left to play. All shattered game after game, but no Downes, no Lanzini, Cornet about ten minutes in three games.

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