Declan Rice was delighted with West Ham’s win over Newcastle this evening, saying that his opening goal was ‘massive’ for his side.
Rice opened the scoring with a close-range header from a Robert Snodgrass corner after just seven minutes, before West Ham captain Mark Noble doubled his side’s lead three minutes before the interval, converting a spot-kick after Javier Hernandez was felled in the box by Florian Lejeune.
The result moved West Ham up to ninth in the league with 39 points, eight points ahead of today’s opponents who had gone into the game having won both of their last two outings in the Premier League.
Speaking after the 2-0 win, Rice admitted that the Hammers knew they would be in for a tough game against an improving Newcastle side.
“We knew Newcastle have been in great form recently and we had to treat this as a final. We were out of the blocks quickly, played some lovely stuff but after half time knew they would come back strong,” Rice told Sky Sports.
“My goal was massive, it was nice to get on the scoresheet, as I missed a sitter against Liverpool.
“It’s a really important win, this season we have made it tough for teams to come and play here, especially the top six. We need to play well and get the fans behind us.”
Rice was also questioned about his international ambitions following his recent decision to switch allegiances from the Republic of Ireland to England, and he unsurprisingly said that he was hoping to eventually wear the Three Lions’ jersey.
“I hope so, nothing is given in the Premier League and it is tough for spots. I am just keeping focus on West Ham, and if I get the call I would be delighted.”