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Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Hammer-of-the-Year Mark Noble knows there are some huge tests coming up, but insists their excellent start will allow them to play with freedom
»Saturday’s thumping 4-1 victory over Southampton made it West Ham’s second best start ever in the Premier League and Hammer-of-the-Year Mark Noble believes it will give them the confidence to take on the big boys.
After a comparatively easy set of early fixtures, West Ham will now face Manchester City, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal before the end of the year.
It is a daunting prospect, but one that Noble is looking forward to.
“We can go into these games with a lot of confidence and not a lot of pressure,” insisted the 25-year-old, who grabbed two goals against the Saints.
“We have got quite a good tally of points on the board, so they are not must-win games, we can go into them and play freely and try and get the best we can out of them.
“For 78 minutes we gave Arsenal a tough game,” said Noble. “They had a lot of the ball, but we kept in it and only a couple of sloppy mistakes allowed them to nick it.
“We are happy with where we are at the moment. We need to keep our feet on the floor, keep working hard and hopefully, keep on getting points.”
One man who will definitely keep the players’ feet on the floor is manager Sam Allardyce.
He was delighted with Saturday’s win, stating that it was probably his best Premier League start too, but he had some warnings about the tests to come.
“With the group of fixtures we were dealt with in the first eight, they were not easy, but easier than what we have coming up,” said the manager.
“We have gone and done the job properly and accumulated 14 points and that gives us a huge gap over the bottom six now.
“We do know there is a difficult period coming up where we may play eight games and not even get eight points with the standard of the teams we are coming across.
“But with the confidence this start has given us, we will hopefully take a point or two out of those big boys.
“Manchester United, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham – it is frightening me already,” laughed Allardyce.
More immediate is the trip to Wigan Athletic on Saturday where the boss is looking for back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.
“We go to Wigan now and it gives us the chance to follow up our well-deserved victory at QPR with another away win and we will also look to achieve our first back-to-back wins,” said the boss.
“When you have won a game, to go and try and win the next is a massive ask and if you can it makes a huge amount of difference. I don’t think Wigan have won at home this season, so there might be a lack of confidence in their team, so can we go and perform.”
There seems no reason why not and with the scale of the fixtures on the horizon for West Ham, it might prove an important game to win.