Mark's Happy Memory

Tuesday night's Carling Cup clash with Notts. County has come around too soon for Mark Noble, but brings back memories of last month's game against Southend in the competition which gave him his first team debut for the club.

Looking back on the 1-0 win which set up this week's encounter, Mark says:

"I loved it; it was my dream come true since being a little boy."

Nearly 17,000 fans enjoyed the game - the biggest crowd Mark has played in front of - and he adds:

"I had loads of nerves but they went as soon as I got on - then I enjoyed it.

"Once you come on and make a tackle or something like that the nerves go away and I was over the moon."

Mark, who came on for Teddy Sheringham - rested for this week's game - adds:

"I have achieved my dream and it is unbelievable; I was thinking of it when I was five years old.

"I think there are tens of thousands of West Ham fans who would like to have done what I have.

"I live five minutes from the ground, all my school friends support West Ham, and it just a wicked feeling knowing I have played for them.

"One of my friends had a bet on me to score the first goal and he lost his money - he is asking for it back!"

Unfortunately, that first goal is going to have to wait a little while longer, as he is still coming back from a minor problem which has ruled him out of the last fortnight.

"I had a little ankle injury but I was back training Monday so it is nothing too serious," he says.

As for his future, he says:

"I have to get my head down and work hard; if I am good enough it will come and if I am not it won't."

Since his debut, several players have come in to add to the competition, but he says:

"I am a West Ham supporter as well as a player and obviously I want us to go up - and we need the best players to make sure that happens.

"I will be patient and wait - hopefully - for my time to come."