Rice wants a reaction when we face Bayern Munich

After tasting defeat against Aston Villa, Declan Rice has urged his teammates to channel that frustration in the right way and seize a spot in the Champions League semi-finals.

A 2-0 defeat against the Villans has seen us relinquish top spot in the Premier League with six games to go, but we’re still within touching distance of new leaders Manchester City.

That coupled with us heading to Bayern Munich next week with an opportunity to reach the last four of the competition means that everything is still to play for this term, and Declan is adamant that we have to use this loss as fuel to drive us on the bigger and better things.

Speaking post-match, he said: “We’re gutted and disappointed we’ve lost a massive game but, it’s time for a reaction. We’ve been on such an amazing run since January, won so many football matches, and got ourselves back into an unbelievable position after being written off at Christmas.

“Now that reaction starts in the Champions League against Bayern, so we’ll be ready for that. We have to park this to the side now. It’s gone, it’s a game of football. We’ve lost but we need to bounce back, that’s for sure.

“It’s a great chance for us to get into a Champions League semi-final. Going to the Allianz Arena, it’s going to be a special night. It’s time to pull our socks up and show everyone why we’re in this position.

“It’s not over yet, there’s six games to go. We’re in an unbelievable position, two points behind. We’re still ready, we’re still fully focused on what we want to do and what we can achieve. There’s going to be many more twists and turns in the Premier League, I think you can see that with the other results today. Anything can happen and we’ll stay positive.”

Goals in the final seven minutes from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins ended our 11-game unbeaten run in the top-flight, and Declan was disappointed that we didn’t manage to get ourselves in front during an opening 45 minutes where Villa struggled to handle our pressure.

However we allowed them to stay in the game and they seized that chance, and Declan feels that we cannot allow to let our opponents off the hook like that.

“When you create that many chances and have that many one-on-ones with the keeper or you get to the byline and you don’t quite get the cross, or don’t quite get the finish it’s very disappointing,” he added.

“We’ve got to be taking one of those chances because in games like this, teams like Villa have got quality and can come back to haunt you and they did today.

“I think in the first half they gave us so much space, then second half they adapted to that. They closed everything up, and where we were having our success in the first half, they shut down completely. We didn’t have enough attempts on goal in the second half, that’s for sure, in a game where we should be winning."

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