Proud West Ham captain salutes great performance at Liverpool
PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 December 2016
Hammers skipper hopes ro seal big week with six points and a kiss
It was indicative of how much sweat and toil that West Ham captain Mark Noble had been through in 90 minutes at Anfield that he found it tough to provide a sample for his drug test after the game.
It was over an hour before he finally appeared in a rush to get to the coach for the team’s flight home, but he still had time to reflect on what had been a superb, battling performance.
“Obviously we knew it was going to be tough here the way Liverpool have been playing, but I thought the lads were incredible,” he said out of breath.
“The way the lads defended so well, I really think we were a bit unlucky. I know they had a lot of the ball, but you expect that because they have the most possession of all the teams in the league.
“I am just so proud of the boys who came here and got a point and now we have got four massive games coming up.”
It marked the end of a tough couple of weeks for Noble and his team which saw crushing defeats by Manchester United and Arsenal and some stinging criticism from manager Slaven Bilic for his players.
“At the end of the day, the manager picks the team and sends it out on the pitch, but he can’t play for us,” said the 29-year-old Canning Town born Hammers fan.
“We know it wasn’t good enough against Arsenal and obviously we needed to improve on that.
“We got a point, but it is confidence more than anything. We have four massive games over the Christmas period and we have to get back to the training ground, work hard and try and get some wins.”
Things did not look good for West Ham when Adam Lallana put Liverpool into a fifth-minute lead and even Noble feared the worst.
“It is only natural after that start, but you have to believe in the players that we have got. Dimi (Payet) has come up with something special again, Michail (Antonio) has got another goal, so we are over the moon to get a point,” he said.
“In our last three away games in the league, Spurs, Man United and Liverpool, we could have had five points. When you look back further to Stoke we lost a goal in the last five minutes and it is just disappointing. We know we are better than what we are showing.”
Noble himself has not been in he best of form, but as a captain he is still battling for the team.
“My job is to keep the lads happy and keep the boys going on the pitch,” he said. “Nothing has changed since last season, but I honestly believe that he have been a bit unlucky this season.
“We have changed stadiums and done a lot of stuff that has been hard on the club.”
Back to the matter in hand and games with Burnley and Hull City at the London Stadium this week.
“Burnley is vital, but they are all vital at the moment, that is the problem when you are in the position we are. We need our fans behind us for 90 minutes on Wednesday because it really does make a difference.”
And then the skipper is whisked away.
“Six points this week?” I ask.
“Oh I wish!” he says as he makes his way to the coach. “I will kiss you on the lips!”
Well that is something to look forward to then!
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