Noble ready for competitive start

  • Skipper confirms squad’s intention to go all the way in the UEFA Europa League
  • Midfielder pleased with the progress of the squad
  • Noble expects more competition at the top of the Premier League
West Ham United captain Mark Noble expects a tough challenge in Thursday night's game against NK Domzale, but insists that the side will not be holding back to ensure a place in the next round of the UEFA Europa League.
With four games standing between the Hammers and the group stages of the tournament, Noble expects last season’s experience in Europe to stand the squad in good stead.
The midfielder said: “Our experience last year shows it is going to be tough, no matter who you play. We play on Thursday and then NK Domzale come to our fantastic new Stadium next week. It’s going to be our first time there and their first time there.
“They will get that boost when you play in a stadium like ours and will run that extra ten yards. We need to match that, we didn’t manage that last year and we almost didn’t expect it with the squad split in two as it was.
“But we got knocked out of Europe on the Thursday and then beat Arsenal on the Sunday and it is all forgotten. We know how quickly things are forgotten in football."
The Hammers captain is positive about the squad and explained: “We have had our squad together for four weeks now and so, we will give it a proper go this time. We have got a lot of belief at the Club at the moment. Everyone’s excited by the new Stadium and we have a new training ground as well, so that will be new to us.
“Last year, I had the best season of my career, both personally and collectively as a squad. We had flair combined with a hardworking team. We gave the Boleyn a good send off and now, it is time for us to create history at the new place. That is down to us.
“We’ve got three very astute signings in Havard, Sofiane and Gokhan. The team spirit was great last season and that is always our main aim, to keep that spirit high. We are excited and from what we can see, everybody else is too.
“It is going to be tough this year, there are seven of the best managers in the world working in the Premier League now.
“There are only four spots for Champions League football. Manchester United and Chelsea will be going for the title this year. Can you see them having similar seasons to last year? Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and the talent he has got will be challenging too. We will try our best, that’s all we can do.”