Noble going for goals

Mark Noble has pledged to keep plugging away in front of goal at Manchester City on Wednesday night after continually seeing others taking the scoring glory this season.

The homegrown midfielder made both goals for Anton Ferdinand and Matthew Upson in the 2-1 win against Manchester United on 29 December and followed that up against Fulham on Saturday with the decisive moment as the match entered its final stages. Dean Ashton had already equalised when Noble, refusing to let a wayward pass run out of play, chased the ball down before knocking it back for Ferdinand to secure another 2-1 triumph.

"I want some of Anton's win bonus because I keep setting him up," joked Noble to WHUTV. "That's what I want to add to my game - assists and goals. The assists are coming, I just need to get some goals. It seems that every time I have a shot now, it looks like it is going in until someone blocks it. I will keep persevering and they will come soon."

As has been the story of this season with the entire squad stepping up when needed, Noble has made the most of Scott Parker's absence to re-establish himself. He began the campaign as first-choice in midfield, scoring from the penalty spot back on 18 August at Birmingham City, before a hernia problem took its toll. Fit again, firing on all cylinders and ready for the midweek cup challenge, the England Under-21 midfielder said: "I am pleased with the way I am playing.

"Fulham started really sharp but we finally got a foothold in the game. Freddie [Ljungberg] put in a great cross for Deano and we really started to play and we could have had three or four goals in that first half. The keeper pulled off some great saves and in the second half we had two cleared off the line - finally Anton got the win for us. It was a hard game for us but we deserved it."

While another hard game is in store on Wednesday, Noble is also keen to push on in the league. The Hammers go to City again on Sunday afternoon and the 20-year-old was pleased the club would make the trip secure in tenth place."It was important that we won on Saturday. There is a six-point gap between us and Newcastle," he said. "We can really push on and catch some other teams up."