Noble sets his goal for rest of the season

Mark Noble admits he wasn't quite sure how to celebrate after scoring his first senior goal in a West Ham United shirt.

The lifelong Hammers fan, who grew up near the Boleyn Ground and supported the club from the terraces before joining as a schoolboy player, celebrated his first appearance of the season by netting the opening goal in our 3-0 FA Cup third round victory over Brighton on Saturday, and couldn't hide his delight at the achievement.

"I was over the moon with the goal," says Mark, "but the main thing for the fans, the players and the manager was that we needed a win after the run we've had.

"It was fantastic to get on the scoresheet, though, and especially at Upton Park in front of the Bobby Moore Stand.

"My family were up in an executive box in the Dr Martens Stand and I ran to them when I scored, but I wasn't really sure how to celebrate - I thought about taking my shirt off or diving in the crowd, but then I just saw Teddy and jumped on him!

"When you score your first goal for the team you have supported all your life, all sorts of things go through your head, but I was just pleased to help the team and so glad that we went on to win the match."

His recall to the first-team last weekend signalled Mark's first senior appearance for the Hammers since December 2005 and, after a three-month loan spell at Ipswich earlier this season, the 19-year-old admits he was straining at the leash for another chance to impress at Upton Park.

"As soon as the manager said I was starting against Brighton, I was determined to make the most of my chance," he says. "I've been working so hard in training these past two months and, funnily enough, I've been doing extra finishing work with Kevin Keen recently.

"It just shows that if you work hard, it pays off, and I was just happy to play my part in helping the supporters to go home happy on Saturday. It's been tough for everyone recently. 6-0 at Reading - that's not West Ham United - and the fans let us know it.

"They are the most passionate fans in the world, though, and they will support us all the way as long as we give 100%. It's important to show them that we have the same hunger and commitment. I think they saw that against Brighton, and hopefully we will show it again on Saturday when we play Fulham.

"We've now got a tough five months in front of us, but if we can play like we did against Brighton, score some goals and keep some clean sheets, then I'm sure we can push up the table and secure our place in the Premiership."