West Ham’s Noble: ‘Don’t panic, the goals will come’
Hammers penalty king Mark Noble insists that the club’s strikers have what it takes to find their scoring touch again
�West Ham haven’t scored a goal from open play since Kevin Nolan’s header beat Coventry City on the second day of the new year.
Since then, Hammers fans have had to survive on a ration of three Mark Noble penalties as the midfielder took his tally to six for the season, but the player himself insists there is no need to panic about the team’s current lack of firepower.
“The gaffer says that we have had a silly amount of chances and crosses into the box and we haven’t converted them,” said the 24-year-old Hammers fan.
“I don’t know what the club will be doing about that in the transfer window, but we know we have got players who can score goals.
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“Baldock, Carew, Cole have all scored goals, we know that. They have to find their touch again and hopefully we can kick on.”
Noble has certainly found his touch from 12 yards, but he was playing down his role in the team after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest, as well as his chance to score a hat-trick..
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“The win is more important,” he said. “We have been lucky enough to get three penalties in two games and they have gone in.
“My other shot went a yard wide. When I hit it I caught it quite well and I thought it was in,” he admitted.
“Scoring a hat-trick would have been nice, but as I say the three points is the most important and that is all we care about.”
It was certainly not a vintage performance from the Hammers as they struggled to find any rhythm, but Noble suggested that is sometimes going to happen at Upton Park.
“To be honest we know we are going to get games like that when some teams come here,” he said. “We started off in the diamond and they went straight to a diamond too to match us.
“Then we tried to go back to our usual formation, but sometimes you can’t get that message across to the players from the sidelines.
“At half time when we came off we knew how were playing and by the end of the game, I know they scored, but I think we looked quite comfortable.”
Noble is fast becoming the most important member of this team. Aside from his penalties, he is also the player that is supposed to make the Hammers tick and it is a role that he relishes.
“It is certainly nice to get the ball so often,” said Noble. “The manager says to me to just go out and play. We know how he wants us to play now and he says just get on the ball and try and get us playing.
“The captain says to me every game as well, just get on the ball and make us play and hopefully I am doing that for the team.”
He certainly did at Portsmouth last week with a performance that reminded many of Scott Parker at his best in claret and blue.
On Saturday it was his penalties that proved the difference and sent West Ham to the top of the table. Now the midfielder is looking for the current run to continue.
“Three points for another win and we are top of the league and we just want to keep on winning,” he said.
“Our aim now is to be unbeaten until the last game of the season and clinch promotion and that is still going to be our aim no matter how the results go elsewhere.
“We just need to concentrate on ourselves, keep winning, keep getting the points on the board. That is nine points in three games and that is what we need to keep doing.”
The Hammers will hope to play better than they did against Forest, but with Noble taking the spot-kicks, they know they will always have a chance.