Mark's Ready For Action

ALAN Pardew has suggested that Mark Noble could play a big part in Wednesday's Play-off semi-final second leg at Portman Road, and the 18-year-old midfielder could not be more ready for the challenge.

Mark came on for the final 20 minutes of Saturday's first leg and showed plenty of promise, always looking dangerous with the ball at his feet. Now he is focused on doing what ever is necessary to secure the win at Portman Road which would take West Ham United to the Play-off Final.

"Whatever job the manager gives me to do I'll make sure I do it the very best I can," he insisted. "We've got to win at Ipswich, it's as simple as that, and the lads have got every confidence that we can do it.

"It's going to be a massive game. Saturday proved that the teams are pretty evenly matched. We've just got to go there with our heads high and believing that we can win the game.

"We need to get in their faces early on, not give them any time to settle and really make it tough for them right from the kick-off."

Mark agrees that a repeat of the start Hammers made to the first-leg would be just the tonic, but the Academy graduate stresses the importance of killing Ipswich off this time around.

"We had a great first-half," he exclaimed, "and Ipswich were really struggling. But we didn't punish them enough, we let them back in the game and they were always going to hit back if we let them.

"The turning point was definitely the free-kick just before half-time. They got a bit fortunate with the ball deflecting back off Jimmy, but we didn't play well enough in the second-half and they took their opportunity.

"We had plenty of chances in the game and maybe with a bit more lady luck on our side we might have got another goal. Their goalkeeper certainly made a great save when it was 2-1. We were bitterly disappointed not to have won the game, but now we've got to respond in the right way and the only way we can do that is by winning at Portman Road."

Mark believes the squad can take confidence from their away record this season, which saw them win at each of the top three clubs including a 2-0 victory at Portman Road on New Year's Day.

"Our away form has been really good during the run-in," he agreed, "and that definitely gives us confidence going into the second leg.

"We never thought that we had to win at Upton Park, because we've got enough belief that we can go there and get a result.

"It was a convincing performance there earlier in the season and the same again would do nicely. We're a strong squad and I don't think losing the lead in the first leg will affect us negatively.

"We can handle that. If might have felt like a defeat after the game, but we drew and we're still very much in the tie going into a game we firmly believe that we can win.

"If we don't the season is over, simply as that. That's all the motivation we need."