West Ham Noble’s secret to penalty taking

Hammers midfielder Mark Noble has a tried and trusted formula from the spot which worked a treat against Portsmouth on Saturday.

Mark Noble has a secret which he doesn’t mind sharing.

The 24-year-old Hammer placed the ball on the penalty spot on Saturday with the score delicately poised at 2-2 and 34,000 fans watching him holding their breath.

Just how do you keep your cool in a situation like that? Noble has a tried and tested method.

“You sort of have to blank out the crowd and pretend you are back over the park with your mates,” revealed West Ham’s longest serving player who was given the tough task of trying to fire the Hammers back in front against Portsmouth at Upton Park on Saturday.

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“You are thinking about where you are going to put it and luckily enough the keeper went the wrong way and I managed to score it.”

It was one of the turning points of Saturday’s match.

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Just five minutes after Pompey captain Liam Lawrence had been sent off for a second bookable offence, Jason Pearce handled just inside the box and West Ham got themselves in front again from the spot.

It was not the end of the story, but the Hammers did manage to grab their first home win of the season and for Noble it was a great relief.

“We need to get that hoodoo off our backs,” said Noble, who has now made 177 appearances in claret and blue, scoring 19 goals along the way.

“The last couple of games we have put in decent performances, but let in late goals, so it’s good that we have actually done it this time round.”

Noble’s performances so far this season have left him vulnerable in the West Ham midfield, though Saturday’s display and goal will certainly give him some renewed confidence.

“With the new boys coming in, you have to be at your best of course,” said the Canning Town-born midfielder.

“Jack Collison played midweek (for Wales) so I think he was rested today, but Henri Lansbury has come in and done brilliantly for us and David Bentley has come on and shown little glimpses of what he is about.

“We just need to keep winning. If we can get on a roll of win, win, win, then it makes everything a little bit easier.”

It certainly does.

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