Noble: ‘West Ham need to sign five or six players still’

Hammers midfield star Mark Noble is confident about the new season, but still thinks that they have to seriously add to their squad before the end of the transfer window.

West Ham midfielder Mark Noble believes the club has to strengthen the squad if they are to achieve their goal of returning to the Premier League at the first attempt.

The 24-year-old made his first appearance of pre-season in the 3-0 victory at Bishop’s Stortford, playing the entire second half, but he knows that the Hammers have much more difficult tasks in front of them.

“I am confident about the new season, but obviously we have got to sign a lot more players,” said Noble, who is the club’s current longest serving player.

“The squad is nowhere near good enough or big enough at the minute. Whoever comes and whoever goes we’ve got to replace them.

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“We’ve got to make five or six signings, good quality signings for this club who are going to help us achieve what we want to achieve.”

Noble’s arrival for the second half of Saturday’s friendly coincided with appearances by Jack Collison and footballer of the year Scott Parker, a formidable midfield, and with Kevin Nolan still to come into it, one that could put fear into the hearts of many a Championship club.

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“It would be lovely to have a midfield like that one,” admitted Noble. “But what happens in the window up until the end of August, who knows? We are cracking away, we are working hard, but obviously we know it is going to be a massive season for us.”

Noble missed the last four games of last season with injury, left on the sidelines as West Ham slipped out of the Premier League, but despite that, and the fact that he is a lifelong Hammers fan, he has already got over the club’s demise.

“I’m over it,” he insisted. “I can’t dwell on it, that’s it. We just need to get on with it and get the club back into the Premier League as quickly as possible.

“It was nice to get a half after going off to Switzerland and training hard but not getting on the field to play a match, for different reasons.

“We are training hard, we’ve got a new manager and new staff, so we have to get used to each other, but we are looking forward to the season to come.”

Many have blamed Avram Grant for last season’s humiliating demotion, but how have the squad taken to the new regime at the club under Sam Allardyce?

Noble thinks that things are going well: “The atmosphere is good and all the staff have welcomed the new manager,” he said.

“He is a big character and a big influence and hopefully it can work out and if we all pull together we can get the club back where it belongs.”

Noble will play an important part in the coming season. He has already played 171 games in claret and blue and is wise to the fact that despite their billing as second favourites to Leicester City, it will be no easy job to get the Hammers back up at the first attempt.

“It is going to be a lot more difficult than that,” explained Noble. “We aren’t just going to walk out there and win every week, it doesn’t work like that, especially with the teams we are going to be playing against.

“We need to go out there, put 100 per cent in and if we can get some more players who are going to do that, I’m sure we will have no problems.”

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