Noble - The fans really helped


  • Mark Noble praises fans for creating the 'best atmosphere' at London Stadium
  • West Ham United players fed off the noise created to score a vital 1-0 win over Swansea City
  • Captain proud to chalk up an important win on his 400th appearance in Claret and Blue

Mark Noble has praised the Claret and Blue Army for creating an atmosphere in which the Hammers could thrive under the severest of pressure on Saturday.

West Ham United went into their Premier League clash with Swansea City knowing a win was imperative to stave off fears of relegation, and the 55,000-strong contingent of home fans made London Stadium a cauldron of noise.

Mark Noble
Captain Noble said the players fed off their surroundings, defending resiliently despite being without a host of first-team regulars and scoring a spectacular winner through Cheikhou Kouyate's long-range strike to secure three much-needed points.

"I said a few weeks ago about social media and how much the negative comments can damage the players' confidence and stuff like that but I've seen a lot of positive stuff over the last couple of weeks, with people saying 'We have got to go to the ground and support the lads and get behind them because we're all in it together'," Noble told West Ham TV

"That was probably the best atmosphere, for a game of that pressure against Swansea, that we have played in at this Stadium and I thought the fans were great and really helped."

For Noble, as a lifelong Hammer and captain, ending a run of five straight defeats and seven games without a win lifted a weight off his shoulders.

"To be honest, it's been a horrible week for me personally because I can never relax," he admitted. "We knew Arsenal was a tough place to go on Wednesday night and we played well in the first half and wanted to get a result there, so to lose and make it five losses in a row and then play like we did under a lot of pressure was brilliant.

"We had a lot of players who haven't played a lot of football - Ginge has played three games in a week now, Arthur Masuaku hasn't played a lot, nor has Sam Byram, so I'm just really, really proud of the lads.

"You never know what's going to happen. I've had that feeling in my belly the whole week where I just wanted the game to be over and done with and to sit on Saturday night and enjoy a win. Saturday was fantastic and it was just a pure relief."

That was probably the best atmosphere, for a game of that pressure against Swansea, that we have played in at this Stadium and I thought the fans were great and really helped

Mark Noble

The skipper revealed that he sat the team down at half-time and gave them a pep talk, leaving his colleagues in no doubt of the importance of securing a victory that took West Ham eight points clear of the bottom three with six games to play.

Noble was delighted with the response, saving words of praise for Jonathan Calleri, who replaced the injured Michail Antonio and put in a relentless shift as the lone striker.

"I said to the lads at half-time before the gaffer came in and said his bit 'Look, this is probably the most important 45 minutes you'll play for a long time and you need to get your head around that and around the fact we need to win this game, simple as that'," the captain continued.

"And I said to Jonny that we needed him desperately and I thanked him after because I thought he was incredible. Jonny came on and massively helped us win that game.

"Sam Byram was unbelievable and some of Ginge's heading in the box was fantastic. It was a back four chucked together because we've got so many players out, but they were really good."

With all the pressure on the team to win, the landmark of Noble becoming just the 19th West Ham player to reach 400 appearances was almost lost, but now the No16 will be able to look back on the game he joined the 400 Club with pride, joy and no little relief.

"You don't really count, you just play every game as it comes and give everything and to have played 400 for this great club and captain it, obviously is an honour," he confirmed. "We've had ups and downs this year, but I'll always give a million per cent out on the pitch and on Saturday it wasn't just me, but all of us who dug in and got the three points."

Noble did mark appearance number 400 with his tenth yellow card of the season, though, which means he will miss next weekend's trip to Sunderland and the home game with Everton.

However, the skipper plans to travel to the North East next weekend to lend his support to the squad at the Stadium of Light, where victory would all but secure West Ham's Premier League future.

"I'll be going up with them, for sure," he confirmed. "I wouldn't be able to relax otherwise. My Saturday would be the worst Saturday in history if I didn't go. I need to be there, so I'm pretty sure the manager will be happy with me travelling up with the lads and supporting them, because obviously we're in this together.

"We'll take a lot of fans to what is another important game for us and I believe we can go there after Saturday and get a result."