Noble: We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot
Mark Noble says West Ham United need to learn how to manage games better if they are to return to winning ways on a consistent basis.
The Hammers have lost Premier League five points from winning positions this season, allowing Southampton, Burnley and Crystal Palace to net late goals, denying them a deserved draw and two valuable victories.
Last weekend, West Ham were 2-0 up at half-time at Selhurst Park, only to concede twice after half-time – to a penalty and last-gasp goal more than six minutes into added time – to enable the Eagles to snatch a point.
Captain Noble knows such results could be costly in the long run and encouraged his teammates to play with ‘common sense’ next time they carry an advantage into the closing stages.
“You can’t make mistakes like we made at Crystal Palace in the Premier League and expect to win matches, so we really need to learn how to hold onto a lead because we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said.
“People talk about ‘managing the game’ and a lot of it is common sense. We need to be able to see the time out by slowing the play down and, in a way, get the opposition and their fans feeling anxious. I don’t think we have done that well enough this season.”
We really need to learn how to hold onto a lead because we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot
West Ham return to Premier League action at London Stadium on Saturday, when they host Liverpool in front of a live BT Sport audience at 5.30pm.
Slaven Bilic’s side have lost just one of six meetings with the Reds over the previous two seasons, but Noble knows the Hammers will need to be at their best to defeat Jurgen Klopp’s men for the fourth time in Liverpool’s last five visits to east London.
“With where we are in the table, what happened at Crystal Palace last weekend and the fact we go into the final international break of the year after it, there is a massive motivation to win Saturday’s game.
“Liverpool at home is a big game – it always is. We’re at home, we’ll have the crowd behind us and we’ve got to roll our sleeves up, look forward to the game and do the basics right.”
Standard Tickets for Saturday’s game are available via the Ticket Exchange to Claret Members and those with a previous booking history.