Noble: Andy Carroll's goal was a really important one for us
Mark Noble admitted to mixed feelings following Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City, after a dominant performance did not get the full reward it merited.
The Hammers needed a last minute volley from Andy Carroll to rescue a point in the end – a result which kept the Potters seven points behind their hosts – but the skipper felt it should have been more.
After having three goals ruled out during a dramatic second period, Noble’s frustration was clear but given the circumstances of Carroll’s late goal, the No16 was grateful for the big striker’s intervention.
He explained: “We shouldn’t be in there really happy, and we’re not. It’s a little bit deflating because for large, large spells we dominated the game.
“When we get the first goal here we’re dangerous, but we knew what Stoke would be like. They’re a hard, fighting team. I know they’ve lost a few games recently but they haven’t been really outplayed.
“They work hard for each other, but tonight I thought the boys played really well and just couldn’t get the goal that we needed, and when we did – with three of them – they were disallowed!
“A point puts us seven points clear of the relegation zone and it’s three games unbeaten, but we’re still a little dejected because I thought we did enough to win.”
Carroll’s goal, after 13 games out with an ankle injury, was his third important one of 2018 following a brace against West Brom in January and Noble said his contribution was priceless.
He added: “In all honesty, just his presence on the pitch – even when I saw him coming on gave me a bit of a boost.
“You put that ball in the box and there’s every chance he’s going to shove his head, or anything, there.
“I’ve just kissed him on the forehead in the dressing room because it’s a very important goal for us.