West Ham United's Mark Noble enjoyed another stellar performance against Norwich City on Tuesday.
The midfielder took the captain's armband in the absence of suspended skipper Kevin Nolan and scored his third penalty of the 2012/13 season as the Hammers ran out 2-1 winners. In this week's Big Interview, Noble explains how the togetherness of the Hammers squad helped deliver the hard-fought result and how it will stand them in good stead for Saturday's big FA Cup tie with Manchester United.
Mark, how would you sum up the performance against Norwich City?
MN: "We were brilliant. We had some big players missing for this game and the boys who came in did fantasticly. It was Jack's [Collison] first start in I don't how long and Vaz's [Ricardo Vaz Te] first start in about three months and they were brilliant.
"We had a game two days before [against Reading] which I don't think we deserved to lose as a mistake cost us. But we are together as a group and that is all that matters. We got three points which we fully deserved.
What are your thoughts on the decision that allowed you to open the scoring from the spot?
MN: "I thought the referee got it right. We were awarded the penalty and luckily enough I put it away and it did settle us and our fans down nice and early. We then went on and fully enjoyed our game from then on in.
Talks us through the second goal as you played a key role in setting it up for Joey O'Brien?
MN: "Joey was playing at left-back in the game and there he was in the six-yard box, but that showed how much we were all enjoying the game. I managed to wriggle my way past a few players and cut it back, it fell nicely to Joey and it was a striker's finish from him and that was the icing on the cake.
"We let a late goal in which we were gutted about as we wanted a clean sheet, but we are over the moon with the three points."
You had the captain's armband in the absence of Nobby [Kevin Nolan] and you received the man of the match award afterwards. Is it nice that people recognise that you played really well?
MN: "We had the likes of Nobby and Ginge [James Collins] missing, two big players for us. As I said it was credit to the boys who came in, everyone had to raise their game. I think that showed and is why we got the three points which we needed after the tough spell we have had."
How important is it to get players like Jack and Vaz back, because the squad has been quite bare over the Christmas period?
MN: "It is great for us. We also had young Elliot Lee on the bench, which was great. I was hoping we could go 3-0 up so he could get his debut. But it wasn't meant to be for him this time, but I am sure he will be playing sooner rather than later. Then we had our other young boys, George Moncur and Seb [Lletget], they have all been involved and Jordan [Spence] came on again. We need to get back to a bigger squad so we have more options from the bench and more options for the manager to pick for all the games."
We face Manchester United in the FA Cup third round on Saturday. How do you think it'll go?
MN: "It will be a great atmosphere for the fans and a great cup tie I am sure as they always are here. When you pluck Manchester United out of the hat you are over the moon, so whatever team the manager picks, I am sure it will be a strong one to have a right go at them and we will see what happens. If we can play anything like we did [against Norwich] and against United at their place earlier in the season, then we will have a chance."