Silly mistakes cost us, says skipper

  • by Staff Writer
  • Monday, 17th January 2022

Birthday boy Declan Rice was left hugely frustrated by West Ham's defeat against Leeds United - as he bemoaned "an opportunity missed".

The team captain celebrated his 23rd birthday last Friday but saw his celebrations cut short on Sunday after West Ham were beaten 3-2 at home by Marcelo Bielsa's men.

And he believed the defeat could prove hugely damaging to West Ham as the season moves towards its inevitable climax.

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"It’s very frustrating," he told West Ham's website. "It was an opportunity to really push up in the table and get three points off Chelsea in second, so it’s an opportunity missed - and a big one, as well.

"We played Leeds last week and did really well. Today we struggled, but that happens in football. The same thing happened in the Southampton game as well. We got back in the game and they end up scoring another goal.

"Silly mistakes cost us. That’s unlike us, as usually we’re compact, we’re solid and we don’t normally concede from corners. We also had some great chances ourselves to draw the game or get in front.

"But we need to be positive. There is nothing to be down about. We’re still fourth [in the Premier League] and I think our fans would much rather be fourth than at the bottom looking up. We need to keep pushing and see how far we can go. We’ve got a big game next week at Old Trafford, so we’ll see how we go up there.”

And even though he refused to be critical of his otherwise in-form team mate Jarrod Bowen, Rice - like many onlookers - was surprised the winger opted to take a late cross on with his chest instead of his head with what proved to be the final chance of a pulsating match.

"I thought he was going to go with his head, but we can’t say anything to Jarrod because he’s been absolutely brilliant for us with the goals his putting in and his assists," he concluded.

"It’s one of those ones where maybe he saw it late. We were in it right until the end - and that’s what we’re going to keep doing every game.”

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