Thursday 01 Feb
Updated Thursday 01 Feb 06:30
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Noble: Joao Mario is going to suit West Ham United

Joao Mario and Mark Noble in action against Crystal Palace

 

Mark Noble says new boy Joao Mario is ‘going to suit’ West Ham United with his all-round game.

The Portuguese midfielder caught the eye of his captain during an encouraging full debut in Tuesday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace at London Stadium.

And Noble expects the No18 to continue to improve as he settles into his new surroundings and is excited by the prospect of seeing him line up alongside Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini when his fellow attackers return from injury.

“To me, it seems Joao Mario isn’t going to be fazed by anything,” said the skipper. “You get the feeling when someone is quite relaxed and you could also see on Tuesday that he doesn’t mind putting his foot in and getting a bump.

“The Portuguese are normally quite tough and I think he’s going to suit our football well and on Tuesday we needed him.

“With Marko and Manu, they’re clever players and you could see the clever little pass he gave Chicharito for the penalty. The further we get him up the pitch, he’s going to score goals as well.”

The Portuguese are normally quite tough and I think he’s going to suit our football well

Mark Noble

With Arnautovic and Lanzini still on the sidelines, Noble and Joao Mario will again be important to the Hammers when they travel to newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend.

Victory at the Amex would see the Hammers go four points clear of the Seagulls, and also avenge the 3-0 win Chris Hughton’s men scored at London Stadium in October.

“It’s important that we win on Saturday, but I think all the matches are important against the teams we have around us. We need to carry on the momentum we’ve got, keep the spirit of not losing games, because that’s really important, because if you don’t lose them then you’re going to keep picking up points.

“We need to keep picking up points, because the more you do that, the closer you’ll get to that 40-point mark and I’m sure the gaffer agrees that, having come in when we were really struggling, the main aim was to keep us in the Premier League.

“We are sitting in mid-table, but it’s only by four or five points, so we need to keep chipping away and picking up points and hopefully we can win a couple of games.

“I think it’ll probably be less than 40 points to stay up, with the way the league is this season, but we must 100 per cent have won games by the end of the season, because we want to be away from that and looking forward.”