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Rice backs Bowen to continue making the right impression with West Ham

Declan likes what he sees from winger, who shone and scored in defeat of Southampton.

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Jarrod Bowen, right, starred on his full West Ham debut (Victoria Jones/PA)

Jarrod Bowen, right, starred on his full West Ham debut (Victoria Jones/PA)

Jarrod Bowen, right, starred on his full West Ham debut (Victoria Jones/PA)

Declan Rice believes West Ham have unearthed a gem in January signing Jarrod Bowen.

Winger Bowen, 23, scored on his full Hammers debut and put in a man-of-the-match display in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Southampton.

Manager David Moyes is trying not to pile too much pressure on the £20million capture from Hull, but midfielder Rice feels he could be the man to fire them to safety.

“Jarrod, I have to say, is top notch. He’s very sharp and he’ll be excellent for us,” Rice told West Ham TV.

“I think West Ham fans should definitely be excited about him because in training he dribbles around you, he’s as sharp as anything and he will be getting chances in every game and I’m pretty sure he will put them in the back of the net like he did on Saturday.

“We should be confident about him and keep getting around him, because he’s an excellent signing for us.”

Bowen took just 15 minutes to find the net with an accomplished finish over Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

The visitors equalised through Michael Obafemi but goals either side of half-time from Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio lifted West Ham out of the relegation zone.

“We’ve got 10 massive games now,” added Rice. “We have got winnable games at home and we feel like we’ve got what we need to get out of it, and of course we never wanted to be in it.

“We’ve got 10 more to go, we’re feeling positive about it and we’re really happy.”

With 34 points in the bag Southampton’s relegation fears should be behind them, but manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is taking nothing for granted.

“If anybody believes we are safe they have a problem,” he said. “We have to fight for every point.”

PA