March 10 2014 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Monday, January 20, 2014
Hammers longest serving player has been through it all before at Upton Park
For Mark Noble, there is no better place to play football than at Upton Park, but even the club’s longest-serving player admits that it is not always easy.
Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat by Newcastle United was met with a chorus of boos from the home faithful and Noble conceded just how difficult it can be.
“I don’t think a lot of these players know what this place is like when you are near the bottom,” said the 26-year-old midfield man.
“I have been through it before and it is a tough place to play. You have to be brave and you have got to want the ball, you have got to be a man and I think we have got enough people in the changing room to get us out of this.”
The likes of Mo Diame and Matt Jarvis seemed to shrivel playing at Upton Park, but Noble knows that the whole squad need to cope with the pressure.
“You can imagine what it is like standing in the middle of a stadium with 35,000 people shouting at you,” said Noble.
“Players are only human, you hear the moans and groans and it doesn’t help if I’m honest, but that’s what fans are like and that is what we are paid to do.
“So we just have to stand up and be counted now and hopefully we can play a full strength team soon and we can start getting some points on the board.”
Saturday was West Ham’s sixth home defeat of the league season so far, but that hasn’t diminished the players enthusiasm for running out at Upton Park.
“I really love playing at home, whether we are winning or losing,” insisted the West Ham fan from Canning Town.
“But at the minute with the way the team is going, it probably would be a little easier playing away from home, there is less pressure on us.”
After losing on Saturday, West Ham to find the strength to hit back again and Noble will be doing everything he can to spur the rest of the squad.
“It has gone from a massive high last week to another low this week and we have to pick ourselves up now,” he said.
“That is all you can do, you have to keep digging in and working hard and hopefully we will get some players back fit in the next couple of weeks.”