The Hammers are winless in five matches in the league, and currently lie 13th in the table.
They are just three points off sixth place, however, and Rice has been quick to point that fact out.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “100 per cent.
“I think if you look from fifth to about 13th, there’s about four points between six or seven teams.
“So you just have to keep working hard. If we beat Burnley on the weekend you’re back up to seventh or eighth, so it’s not too far away.”
Rice could be right, of course, but things need to change in east London, and quickly. The Hammers started the campaign at a real pace, but ever since they beat Manchester United 2-0 back in September, they have really gone off the boil. Most frustrating of all, however, is the fact that they have not faced a single side that they won’t have deemed beatable on their current run of five matches without a win. Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Everton, Sheffield United, and especially Newcastle United are all sides that the Hammers will have fancied their chances against going into their respective clashes, and on five consecutive occasions now, they have failed to turn up. Whatever the cause of this slump, and there is worrying feeling that art could be the ineptitude and stubbornness of Manuel Pellegrini, then they need to snap out of it quickly, or risk burying their chances of European football altogether.