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Psycho backing Rice

Filed: Wednesday, 7th March 2018
By: Staff Writer

Stuart Pearce believes that teenage central defender Declan Rice is benefiting from receiving more first team action than he may have expected.

As a result of a string of injuries, loans and player sales, the 19-year-old has featured 23 times for Slaven Bilic and David Moyes thus far in West Ham's first team this season.

And with the latter having only Rice and team mate James Collins currently fit and available from his pool of centre halves, the Irish-born talent is likely to feature extensively between now and the end of the season too.

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However that is not likely to be a cause for concern according to first team coach Stuart Pearce, who told whufc.com that Rice was improving with every game. "Every time you take to a pitch, there’s a learning curve to be had," said the former England full back.

"We had young Declan in the side [at Swansea]; every minute he gets in a Premier League match is a bonus to us as a football club. Bear in mind he played for 90 minutes [on Saturday]. It’s money in the bank for us as a football club in regard to his knowledge."

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Pearce also called for the squad as a whole to regroup and secure a much-needed victory against Burnley at Stratford this this weekend - West Ham's final match before a three-week break.

"We’ve got to show some character, especially at home," he added. "We’re playing a well organised Burnley side, and a side who’ve been playing particularly well. Their results have probably not turned around and shown us the whole picture. They are a good side with an outstanding manager.

"It’s a game that we’ve got to look to get on the front foot in. We’ve got to look to play better than we did in the last two matches. One or two things we felt we didn’t do particularly well, like conceding cheap goals, we’re going to have to improve on that."

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