West Ham skipper full of praise for rejuvenated Antonio

PUBLISHED: 10:33 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:33 24 April 2019

West Ham celebrate

West Ham celebrate

Press Association

But Noble so frustrated by another poor decision that cost the Hammers

Mark Noble v Leicester CityMark Noble v Leicester City

West Ham skipper Mark Noble was full of praise for striker Michail Antonio after the pair linked up to score the opener at the London Stadium on Saturday.

The captain found himself on the left wing for some reason and spotted the striker in the middle.

“I don't know what I was doing there to be honest,” said Noble after the 2-2 draw with Leicester City.

“Me and 'Snods' played a one-two and when I looked up I saw that Mikey was with Ben Chilwell.

Mark Noble v Leicester CityMark Noble v Leicester City

“It was a case of hanging it up for him and he is that good in the air, I knew that he is going to win it 90 per cent of the time and it worked out well.”

It certainly did. It was Antonio's sixth goal of the season and his first since February.

“He played well and you sort of know what you are going to get from him,” said the captain.

“He works hard and he is strong. It was his best game for a long time and you could see that there is no end-of-season blues, because you could see what it meant to everyone.”

West Ham United's Michail Antonio (left) and Leicester City's Ben Chilwell battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.West Ham United's Michail Antonio (left) and Leicester City's Ben Chilwell battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

For the second week running, West Ham were denied a chance of victory by the officials as Lucas Perez was erroneously ruled offside.

It was certainly frustrating to the captain, who said: “We've had another big decision go against us to be honest. I don't really like moaning about officials because it is such a hard job. When you are out there you don't realise just how fast the game is played.

“But if we go 3-1 up here and we go 1-0 up at Old Trafford last week, it is a little frustrating when you work so hard and it is taken out of your hands.”

Once again VAR would have given West Ham a different result and Noble is well aware of it.

West Ham's Michail AntonioWest Ham's Michail Antonio

“Exactly that,” said the skipper. “But for me it is a little bit of an excuse because I was upset that we conceded the second goal.

“We played well against Manchester United and the second half against Chelsea and we played well again against Leicester.

“We are still going for it. You could see the enthusiasm to get the win. But it is hard enough to score in the Premier League as it is, but when you score an onside goal, it is frustrating.”

The season is almost over – some fans would say it already is – but Noble knows they need to keep their efforts going and hope that Lady Luck smiles on them.

“We have to keep going and we have another tough game against Spurs next week and then another home game against Southampton before Watford,” he concluded.

That Spurs game will be an important one to the fans and they will expect a huge effort.

Then it will be VAR next season and the way things are going for West Ham at the moment, it can't come a day too soon.

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