West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has heaped praise on partner-in-crime Mark Noble for helping him take his game to a new level this season.
Seen by many as an out-and-out anchor man, Rice has added goals and assists to his game this season, bagging his second goal of the campaign in Thursday’s 2-0 win over Rapid Wien by bombing forwards to tap home a cross from Michail Antonio.
It was another excellent performance from Rice, who confessed after the game that playing alongside Noble has given him an extra boost to improve and add extra skills to his game.
“When I knew I was playing with Nobes I said that I was going to try and bomb on a bit tonight,” he told BT Sport. “I said to him I would score. When the situation came, I saw there was a bit of space to run into and if you don’t make the runs you won’t get a chance. To score again, it is becoming a nice feeling. I wish it could be every week.
“Nobes is special. I have spent six seasons with him. First two as a kid and four with the first team. I have learned so much from him. To play next to him, see what he is like as a person and a man. There is no one better to learn from. I am going to cherish every game I get to play next to him this season.”
The result leaves West Ham top of their Europa League group after Rice again found himself on the scoresheet in the 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the first round of fixtures.
“It was amazing,” Rice continued. “As players we knew how big tonight actually was. We had to win as well.
“We want to top this group, that is all we want to do. We will take it a game at a time. It is a good night for us and the fans, who have waited a long time to see this.”
Next up for Rice and West Ham is a visit from Premier League highflyers Brentford, with David Moyes’ men looking for another three points which could take them back into the top four.