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West Ham United

Rice sets sights on top-seven spot

4th March 2019, 11:20 by Craig Smithson

Declan Rice has urged West Ham to "keep pushing" for a top-seven finish which could secure them European football next season.

The 20-year-old already has more than 50 Premier League appearances under his belt and is on the verge of an England call-up.

At the end of a week in which he was named young player of the year at the London Football Awards, Rice scored his second senior goal in the 2-0 win over Newcastle which kept the Hammers in the hunt for seventh place and a potential Europa League spot.

West Ham are unbeaten at the London Stadium in 2019 and Rice knows their home form will be crucial in the run-in.

"I think we deserved the win," he said. "Newcastle have been in great form recently so we knew we had to be on our game.

"We had to treat the game like a final. I think you saw that in the first half. We were out of the box quick. We got an early goal and we kept pushing.

"We knew the second half would be tough but we were resilient and we defended well. We got the three points which is the main thing.

"Our London Stadium form is really important. We've really made it tough at time for teams to come here and play. We've played really well, especially against some top-six sides.

"These are the games, at home, where we should be winning. We've got the fans behind us. It's important we keep pushing [for the top seven]."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

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