Mark Noble’s chances from the penalty spot have been few and far between in the 2014/15 season so he made sure he would not pass up the opportunity when it presented itself on Saturday.
Michael Duff’s foul on Cheikhou Kouyate gave referee Jonathan Moss little option but to award a spot kick, although to many observers the red card that followed for Duff was perhaps a touch harsh.
Noble was in no mood for charity, however, and his successful penalty conversion set up a 1-0 victory which took West Ham back into the top half of the Barclays Premier League table.
“It’s a massive result for us,” he explained. “The last couple of games have been against teams fighting for their lives and I’ve been in that position so I know how much you have a go.
“We knew it was going to be tough today, but once we got the penalty we found it pretty comfortable from thereon really.
“We’re expected to win against Burnley here, even if they’ve got eleven men, so there’s pressure anyway. As soon as they went down to ten men, I scored the penalty and that eased it a little bit. We could enjoy ourselves a little bit after that."
This was only the second Premier League penalty the Hammers have been awarded this season but Noble insisted he did not feel any additional pressure after missing his last effort against Tottenham Hotspur.
He continued: “I scored one in the FA Cup shootout, but we’ve only had two penalties in the Premier League this season, so for the goal to win the three points is massive for us.
“I quite enjoy the pressure of penalties and I believe I’m going to score. The one against Spurs was early doors, the goal was there to score in, the keeper went early and it was just a lack of concentration from me as I thought I had already scored but on Saturday I made sure it hit the back of the net.”
The target of 50 points is now within touching distance for the Hammers but Noble does not want to stop there.
He continued: “50 points is in our sights and one more win will get us there. Who’s to say we can’t go and beat that 50-point barrier and finish as high up as we can.
“It’s two clean sheets in a row, which is massive. Young Reece has come in and we’ve got two clean sheets, so he’ll be proud of himself next to Ginge.
“It’s much better for us, because if you keep clean sheets you can’t lose games and that’s what we haven’t been doing up until recently.”