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Declan Rice takes out inspiration from Man Utd as he lays out ambition

Declan Rice’s West Ham side are aiming to at least emulate Man Utd by making the Europa League final this term as the England midfielder targets silverware with the Hammers

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Declan Rice believes West Ham are capable of replicating Manchester United by making the Europa League final this season.

The Hammers have topped their group and will progress into the last 16 of Europe’s secondary competition.

United fell short in last year’s final, losing to Villarreal on penalties in Gdansk.

The Europa League roll of honour certainly boasts some impressive names with Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Porto all former winners.

West Ham are by no means European regulars but are fancied to progress deep into the competition.

David Moyes has the London outfit well drilled and they are currently mounting a top four charge, with Rice crucial to their success.

His performances in midfield have caught the eye of top sides but the 22-year-old has his sights set on silverware.

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Declan Rice is eyeing silverware with West Ham

Rice told FourFourTwo : “We’re in the Europa League, we’re still in the League Cup, there’s the FA Cup, and we’re going to go strong in all of them.

Manchester United got to the Europa League final last year against Villarreal, so why not us?

“We need to keep being positive and keep playing well, but we’re confident that we can push for those things now. As players we all want to win stuff, and the fans haven’t seen us win something for ages.”

He continued: “With the squad we’ve got and how well we’ve been doing at the moment, it would only be right if we said we want to push ourselves for some sort of trophy.”

Moyes’ West Ham side dumped holders Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup on penalties earlier this season.

They’ve also picked up recent home wins against Chelsea and Liverpool, underlining their credentials.

The Scot has been unable to turn the Hammers from relegation battlers to top four hopefuls since returning for a second time.

“Qualifying for Europe was massive for the club,” Rice added.

The Hammers have qualified for the last 16 in Europe

“There have been so many ups at West Ham this year – there used to be more downs than ups, relegation battles… it was stressful coming into training. Now it’s completely turned around.”

On his own performance he said: “This has definitely been my best year.

“At such a young age, you never think you’d get the chance to play in such big matches. Big opportunities have come around and I’ve stepped up this year, really learned and known where I had to improve.

“I’m still improving but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it – it’s been really positive. “

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