We need to put the ball in the net says Rice after West Ham defeat at City

Manchester City's Rodri (left) and West Ham United's Declan Rice (centre) battle for the ball during

Manchester City's Rodri (left) and West Ham United's Declan Rice (centre) battle for the ball - Credit: PA

Declan Rice says West Ham United need to rediscover the clinical form they showed between the October and November international breaks.

The Hammers won six out of seven matches in all competitions in that period, defeating Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Liverpool in the Premier League to rise into the top four.

However, since returning to action a week ago, the Irons have lost successive top-flight games for the first time since mid-April, going down 1-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers and 2-1 at Manchester City.

Both defeats were narrow and hard fought, and captain Rice feels West Ham could have snatched something from both games with more composed play and better finishing in the final third.

“It was frustrating and I’m disappointed but that’s because we didn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“We’ve been here before and I’ve spoken to you before and it’s been after a humiliating defeat, so it shows how far we’ve come as a team that we played really well in the first half in some stages, then in the second half we did well, but it’s just about putting the ball in the back of the net at the moment and we haven’t quite done that in the last two Premier League games and we need to get back to that.

“That’s why they are the best team in the country, the way they do everything. Even when Lukasz has got the ball, they pressure you and they’re always so organised and make it so hard for you to get the ball.

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“With England, most of the time you’re dominating the ball and dominating the game and when you play against City, they are doing things that really cause you problems in the mind. They do some really good stuff and make it hard for you as players.”

The international break came at a bad time for the Hammers insists midfielder Rice.

“That’s the problem with these international breaks! We had gone seven in a row without defeat and we were really cooking and we really felt like we could give anyone a game at any time and beat them, then obviously the break happens and everyone goes away and it takes time to get back into it, you know.

“There are no excuses. It’s two defeats in a row [in the Premier League] for the first time since April, so we need to get back to it and I think we can.”

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