‘We could have had SEVEN’: West Ham captain Declan Rice insists they must beat struggling Leeds by more goals… as boss David Moyes hails win as a momentum builder for their Europe Conference League final
Declan Rice says West Ham will take confidence from their 3-1 win over Leeds on Sunday in the Europa Conference League final.
Hammers captain Rice played the entire match and scored the equalizer as his side overcame a 1-0 deficit to win at the London Stadium.
The 24-year-old’s strike was his fourth league goal of the season – the best of his career – and canceled out Rodrigo Moreno’s opener, with Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini netting for the hosts.
And Rice told Sky Sports after the match that the victory and the support of the fans will help them build momentum in their European final against Fiorentina in Prague, Czech Republic on June 7.
He said: ‘If you go back to Thursday night, the first 15-20 (minutes) got to us and we probably weren’t 100 per cent but as the game went on we completely dominated and in the end we could have had six. or seven, just a waste of time.
West Ham’s Declan Rice, 24, says his side will take confidence from their 3-1 win over Leeds
David Moyes’ Hammers came from behind to beat Sam Allardyce’s side on Sunday
Rice will lead the east London side to the Europa Conference League final in Prague on June 7
‘I feel great that I can score. I think it was my best goal scoring season. I made a lot of runs in the box today and I just need to add that to my game.
‘If you go to the final game next week and also the final of the Europa Conference League we need to build momentum. The fans are behind us and that gives us confidence.’
And Hammers boss David Moyes, speaking to the media after the match, praised the manner of the victory given their fatigue following a grueling Europa Conference League second leg win over AZ Alkmaar.
He added: ‘What a great achievement. I was a little cautious after Thursday night’s game and how much we put into the game. We knuckled down, we were a bit sloppy for the opening 15 minutes but after that we got control.
‘I thought them getting a goal might have given us a bit more life. We did a lot of good things, we probably scored more goals. We want to continue to improve and I thought today we played well, especially in the second half. We missed some chances but I’d rather be missing them than not making them at all.
‘We’re not shouting about the position we’re finishing in the table but we’re really pleased to be in a European final. Hopefully we can go on and win. The players have put in a tremendous amount of work throughout the season.’
West Ham are now mathematically safe from relegation after a disappointing season, and travel to Leicester for the final game of the campaign on Sunday.
Leeds, meanwhile, are in 18th place and in serious danger of relegation after losing the lead again.