West Ham players' dressing-room inquest sparked upturn, says Declan Rice

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Liverpool's draw at West Ham has let Man City back in with a shout of regaining top spot.

Rising West Ham talent Declan Rice says a dressing-room inquest held by the players has sparked an upturn in fortunes for the Hammers.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side earned a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium against visiting Liverpool on Monday, though the hosts were perhaps unfortunate not to take all three after Sadio Mane’s offside opener was missed by officials.

Rice was again among those to impress and revealed that the significant improvement they demonstrated – following successive defeats by Wolves, AFC Wimbledon and Bournemouth – was inspired by a dressing-room inquest they held after that run.

“After that January that we had where we lost a load of games, we all had a meeting with each other and said, ‘Look boys, we all need to pull our fingers out’,” the 20-year-old said.

“Because it was not West Ham and not the results we want. The players just said after the Wolves game, ‘We need to sort it out’. We had watched the Wolves game back and saw the problems that we were creating and the things we were doing. Last night we changed it around.”

On Marko Arnautovic, who ended up signing a new contract after being linked with a move to China, Rice added: “Nothing ever went on (with the forward). Whatever happened, happened. All the lads love Marko. He is great in the changing room. We all love Marko and we cannot wait for him to be back (from injury).”

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Jurgen Klopp warns Liverpool of more tough tests after West Ham draw

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned his team they will face tougher tests than Monday’s at West Ham before the end of a season in which they hope to be crowned champions.

The Premier League leaders drew 1-1 at the London Stadium, where they were largely outplayed and perhaps fortunate to avoid defeat, when victory would have taken them five points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

Klopp remains without influential players including Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, but he regardless insists his squad can handle the pressure of a title race following their latest setback.

“If you want to be at the top of the table at the end of the season, you have to deal with much tougher situations than we had (at West Ham). That’s the truth, that’s always clear,” he said.

“But of course you need players fit and available, that helps a bit.

“We have to fight, it’s not about pressure, it’s about enjoying the situation. We have 62 points, lost one game in a full season so far, which is very positive.

“I have seen your faces already, you feel a bit sorry with us, you don’t have to, we are fine, everything is good. Tonight was just a tough game.”

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini was frustrated his team were denied victory by a refereeing error.

However, following three successive losses, including an embarrassing FA Cup exit at League One Wimbledon, he was pleased with the performances of his players.

“Yes, disappointed, without any doubt,” he said.

“If you create four chances and didn’t score and they score a goal one metre-and-a-half offside, you must be disappointed and worried.

“I think we played in the way I like this team to play against every team.

“Maybe in the moment that we were (on a losing run), nobody believed that we could do it but I was absolutely sure and I trusted the players that we can play in the way we did.

“I think we did a complete performance, because against the team that has the best defence we created so many chances.”

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Jurgen Klopp dismisses Mark Noble's claim Liverpool were 'scared' during 1-1 draw at West Ham

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Jurgen Klopp dismissed suggestions that Liverpool were “scared” of West Ham after his team’s Premier League title bid was dented at London Stadium.

The table-topping Reds were aiming to restore their five-point advantage over second-placed Manchester City but had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Michail Antonio quickly cancelled out Sadio Mane’s controversial 22nd-minute opener.

Manuel Pellegrini’s impressive hosts had a number of chances for a winner, with Hammers captain Mark Noble claiming in a post-match interview with Sky Sports that they had “scared” the visitors.

But manager Klopp, who accepted James Milner was offside before setting up Mane’s goal, disagreed.

“I wish for all West Ham fans that Mark Noble and his team would scare more teams and not only us tonight because then they would be in another situation,” said the German.

“I don’t know him really well so I don’t know why he speaks about us after a game like that.

“They defended well, that’s true. They didn’t scare us, it’s a normal away game. We’ve won away games when we’ve played worse than tonight and nobody spoke about it afterwards.

“They had a result – 1-1 – but I didn’t see that they scared us.”

Antonio’s equaliser resulted in a second successive draw for Liverpool and means they have taken only eight points from the last 15 available.

Klopp, without a host of first-team players in the capital including captain Jordan Henderson and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, insists his squad can handle the pressure of a title race following another frustrating setback.

“If you want to be at the top of the table at the end of the season, you have to deal with much tougher situations than we had today. That’s the truth, that’s always clear,” he said.

“But of course you need players fit and available, that helps a bit.

“We have to fight, it’s not about pressure, it’s about enjoying the situation. We have 62 points, lost one game in a full season so far, which is very positive.

“I have seen your faces already, you feel a bit sorry with us, you don’t have to, we are fine, everything is good. Tonight was just a tough game.”

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini was frustrated his team were denied victory by a refereeing error.

However, following three successive losses, including an embarrassing FA Cup exit at League One Wimbledon, he was pleased with the performances of his players.

“Yes, disappointed, without any doubt,” he said.

“If you create four chances and didn’t score and they score a goal one metre and a half offside, you must be disappointed and worried.

“I think we played in the way I like this team to play against every team.

“Maybe in the moment that we were (on a losing run), nobody believed that we could do it but I was absolutely sure and I trusted the players that we can play in the way we did.

“I think we did a complete performance, because against the team that has the best defence we created so many chances.”

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