Declan Rice has confessed that West Ham were inspired to beat Tottenham on Sunday after hearing Jose Mourinho’s comments leading up to the match.
The Hammers picked up their third Premier League win in four games with a 2-1 triumph at the London Stadium. Goals at the start of each half by Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard put David Moyes’s side 2-0 up.
Spurs are down in ninth, nine points behind their East End rivals, with manager Mourinho under pressure. And it seems as though a boast by the Portuguese tactician helped spur on the men in claret and blue.
“I read during the week that Mourinho said that, at the end of the season, there would be no comparison between where Spurs are going to be compared to West Ham and that they were going to overtake us,” Rice told talkSPORT.
“You read stuff like that as players – I think he said it on the Spurs YouTube channel – you read that as players and you think, ‘Yeah that is going to make me go out there and prove you wrong’.
“You go out there and you want to put out an even better performance, so I think all the lads knew that.”
Champions League a realistic target?
West Ham struggled at the wrong end of the table last term. Many questioned whether Moyes was the right man to take the club forward but he has delivered in 2020-2021.
It remains to be seen if they can maintain their form for another 13 games to finish in the top four. The Blues are closing in while Merseyside duo Liverpool and Everton cannot be discounted.
Rice feels his side can do it and gave a positive response when asked about their chances.
“100 per cent, definitely I think I would be wrong to sit here and say that’s not something I am thinking about,” he added. “I want to be in those places now, this is where this club deserves to be. It is a massive club, we’ve got the quality like I said and that’s where we need to be pushing.
“I think the next four games are going to define that. We have got City, then Leeds, then United and Arsenal.”