Declan Rice cut a gutted yet very proud West Ham leader following our gut wrenching exit to the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt.

It simply wasn’t to be as a 10 man West Ham lost 1-0 on the night meaning a 3-1 aggregate loss to the German side in the semi final round.

Despite the pain of defeat, a defiant Rice declared that West Ham will bounce back and learn from this, stating that it’s crucial we show we are a big side in the must win encounter with Norwich this weekend.

“We’ve proved as a Club – as a set of players and as fans – that we deserve those European nights,” said the England international.

“We deserve the hype. We’ve beaten some great teams over two legs but it just wasn’t meant to be. You can’t go back and change things now. It’s sickening and it’s gutting, but we’ll be back and we’re ready to have a strong end to the season now.

“Sunday at Norwich is now so important. It’s a game in which we can react. You either go out there and perform like you don’t fancy it, and you dwell on this defeat, or you make a statement and win the game, and show you can bounce back. That’s what the top teams do and that’s what we need to do.”

Rice also paid a special mention to the West Ham fans who’s love for him and the club is unwavering, and it’s a feeling that is fully reciprocated.

“There’s something special about West Ham fans. How much they care about you. How much they talk about you. Of course it’s not been playing sailing over the years, but there’s been some light this year in terms of what we’ve done as a team.

“I’m proud to play in front of those fans that cheer and shout my name. I’ve been sent videos of them in the Frankfurt town centre. One of my mate is a West Ham fan who has been to every away game. It’s special. We deserve those nights and I’m just gutted. We see Rangers are in the final and what a final that could have been. It was not meant to be.

“These things happen in football. We’ll come again and I want to say a big thank you to the fans for all their support. There are three games to go.”