Dave Evans, West Ham correspondent
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Mark’s rallying cry ahead of trip to Anfield
West Ham midfielder Mark Noble delivered a rallying message after Tuesday’s dismal defeat at Crystal Palace, by signalling that the team will be heading for Anfield and looking for a win.
Hammers fan Noble was shaken by the 1-0 defeat at Selhurst Park, but he insists that the team are not doomed to a relegation battle just yet.
“In this league if you don’t take your chances and score goals, you get punished and I don’t know how many times I have said that this season,” remarked the 26-year-old on Tuesday night.
“It is the same old thing, we have to work hard to improve. We have got a tough game at Liverpool on Saturday, but now we have to go up there and look for a win, because we need one.”
After a match-winning display against Fulham last Saturday, Noble could not inspire the team to a result at Palace, but he is looking to turn that around again at Anfield – a ground the club haven’t won at since 1963.
“We are not expected to win at Liverpool, but if anything that takes a bit of pressure off us,” explained West Ham’s current longest-serving player.
“We know how tough it is to go and play up there, but we have seen in this league that everyone is beating everybody else at the minute.
“I wouldn’t write us off just yet and then we have another game against Sunderland who are in and around us and it will be really important to get points off them.
“It comes just before the Christmas programme and the players will have to be ready mentally and physically for that challenge.”
One man who will not be there at Liverpool will be Ravel Morrison who was booked after an altercation with Palace defender Joel Ward after the final whistle which saw him reach five cautions.
Noble though thinks it would be a mistake to take the aggression out of his game.
“I don’t really know what happened, but he hasn’t been any trouble with us the whole season,” insisted Noble. “He’s lost a game and he is frustrated, we all are.
“I don’t know whether someone has celebrated in front of his face, but emptions are high and if you take that edge away from him, then you take away a lot of his ability too,” he continued.
“He is a young lad and he is still learning.
“I am sure he is going to get kicked along the way because of his ability, but he has got to learn to live with that if he wants to do the tricks and skills that he does.
“Players think that he is trying to take the mick out of them, he ain’t, it is just the way he plays.”
Noble was still shaken from the verbal rocket that he and the rest of the team received from manager Sam Allardyce after the game.
“I can’t say what the manager said exactly,” said the midielder.
“He did say it wasn’t good enough and you can’t concede goals like that.
“The lads are devastated as you can imagine. No-one is happy, but these are the times you have to stick together and there are still a lot of games left.”
There are, but West Ham have got to show some consistency if they are to move away from the lower reaches and that is their biggest problem.