Declan Rice challenges West Ham to become a ‘big team’ after dominant win over Aston Villa as David Moyes insists he will ramp up expectations
- West Ham draw level with third-placed Man City after 4-1 win over Aston Villa
- Rice scored Hammers’ second goal and is eager to contribute more goals
- West Ham equalled club record with fifth consecutive away win in the league
- David Moyes said West Ham can still improve despite brilliant start to the season
Declan Rice urged West Ham to keep their foot on the accelerator after they beat 10-man Aston Villa 4-1 to move level with champions Manchester City in third in the table.
Rice scored the visitors’ second goal to restore their lead after Ollie Watkins had cancelled out Ben Johnson’s early strike.
Then Ezri Konsa was sent off early in the second half and Watkins hit the bar before Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen scored late on, meaning the Hammers are unbeaten on the road in the league since April.
Declan Rice has urged West Ham to keep their foot on the gas after a superb start to the season
Rice’s goal was his fourth of the campaign after boss David Moyes, who took charge of his 999th as a manager, pushed him to find the target more often.
‘We are joint third,’ said Rice. ‘The big question people asked before the season was whether we could do it again after qualifying for Europe. We’ve found out we can.
‘But there are still a lot more games to go. This is the level, the standard. We can’t drop if we want to be a big team.
David Moyes has challenged Rice to score more goals and the midfielder has delivered so far
The England international scored West Ham’s second goal at Villa Park on Sunday
Rice has scored four times this season for club and country and is determined to keep going
‘I can definitely add [goals] to my game, I have four this season. It doesn’t get better with the feeling of scoring a goal.
‘We won 4-1 but we were so sloppy in the second half. We gave the ball away so much. The manager won’t be happy. There were times we could have countered and gave it away.’
Hammers boss David Moyes hailed Rice for responding to his challenge.
His side have 20 points from their opening 10 games and equalled a club record of five away wins in a row here.
Moyes took charge of his 999th game as a manager at Villa Park and had plenty to celebrate
West Ham equalled a club record with a fifth consecutive away win on Sunday against Villa
‘Declan is at a very good level for someone so young,’ said Moyes. ‘He has a big responsibility and he has improved greatly.
‘Let’s hope it continues. We asked last year if he could bring goals and other actions to his game and he has. We are very pleased for him.
‘A manager’s job is to try to raise expectations but without saying silly things, but it’s a pretty good time to judge [teams] after 10 games. The big thing for me is that none of them think we have done it already. There is still a long way to go.’