Avram Grant believes his midfield marvels Mark Noble and Scott Parker will be key to turning around the Hammers' fortunes.

Noble was astonishingly back in the Saturday lineup despite having had his appendix removed just 12 days previously, a sign of dedication to the cause that had his manager describing him as "incredible". Parker was playing his 16th game of the season in all competitions and third 90 minutes in eight days - and remains the only Hammer to have played every minute of every game.

The duo were behind the home side's best opportunities against Blackpool, Noble earning man of the match duties for his tireless energy and precise passing and Parker industrious from box to box and so nearly creating a winner for Pablo Barrera.

Of the 23-year-old Noble, who collected his SBOBET player of the month award before kick-off, Grant said: "Mark is amazing. It is incredible that he was able to play.

"He gives all his heart to the team. He trained just three times before the game but he played like he has not been injured. He is a typical West Ham player. He always tries for the team and every game he is getting better."

There were whispers around the Boleyn Ground press box after the game that Parker - a "model professional" according to his manager, might be drafted into the England squad to play France this Wednesday but the call failed to materialise. Grant is certain that there is no finer Englishman playing in Parker's position in the Barclays Premier League.

"I haven't seen any better than Scott," he said. "The quality is there every game. He defends well, he attacks well. There are not many players like him. He is an old-fashioned player who gives everything to the team every time he plays. He created a big chance for Pablo and a goal would have changed everything. I have a lot of leaders like Mark and Scott and we will need them."

Another midfielder to earn recognition from the manager was Luis Boa Morte, who was on the receiving end of some fan criticism when being substituted. A hugely popular figure around Chadwell Heath and arguably the star man at Birmingham City seven days before, the manager was right behind his player. "He has done a good job for us and he is important. He always gives everything."

He added: "The fans are great but a few of them sometimes show their disappointment. I don't have a problem with the fans, they have always been behind us and we need them to back us."

The other starting midfielder was Kieron Dyer, but his contribution was cut short after a suspected hamstring problem just four days after completing his first 90 minutes for over three years. He will be assessed this week, while the manager will run the rule over James Tomkins, Winston Reid, Julien Faubert and Zavon Hines in the reserves on Monday.

Although it was another match without a win, Grant was pleased with the clean sheet after conceding two goals in each of the previous two contests. It was at the other end where the manger was incredulous that his team had failed to maintain a positive scoring run that had produced seven goals in four matches.

"It is a strange game to analyse. We could make better decisions [in goalscoring positions] but we created enough chances to win more than one game. We need to put the ball in the net.

"We had spoken about this a month ago when we were averaging only one goal a game. Since then we scored three goals in the Carling Cup, two goals last week at Birmingham and two more on Wednesday against West Brom.

"The decision-making needs to be better but Saturday was an exception in front of goal. We should have won the match.

"Nobody is happy. We deserved to win the game. I don't want to see the players happy with a draw at home to Blackpool, with all the respect to them as they have been brilliant this season. Not one of us is happy but we will put it right. If we continue to create chances like this we will win games.

"We are in a difficult fight but I am sure we will succeed. My players played with passion and energy and this will be crucial for us."