West Ham captain Mark Noble hails positive, professional Pablo Fornals
Mark Noble says Pablo Fornals’ is attitude exactly what West Ham United need as they seek the victories needed to secure Premier League safety.
The Spanish midfielder shrugged off the disappointment of being left out of the matchday squad at Manchester City last week to produce a goalscoring performance off the substitutes’ bench in Monday’s 3-2 defeat at Anfield.
The 24-year-old replaced the outstanding Tomas Soucek two minutes after half-time when the Czech was forced off with a hip injury, before putting the Hammers in front seven minutes later and celebrating with a trademark salute in front of the Claret and Blue Army.
Speaking to West Ham TV, Noble hailed Fornals character and professionalism in showing his quality on his return to action.
Pablo obviously hasn’t played as much as he’d like to, but he got his chance and he come in and did well
“He’s a good lad, Pablo, you know,” said the skipper. “Every player, if you’re a football player it’s your profession, you want to play football. He obviously hasn’t done that as much as he’d like to, but he got his chance and he come in and did well.
“I said to him that not many West Ham players have scored at Anfield and he was happy to get his goal, but the lads were gutted to come to a place like that and play like that and not get what we deserved, but it is what it is and we have got to win on Saturday.”
West Ham’s performance in pushing the unbeaten leaders all the way was widely lauded by the media and supporters of both clubs, with arguably only two goalkeeping errors and a fortunate deflection off Noble that led to Sadio Mane’s winner preventing the Hammers from becoming the first team to beat the Reds in the Premier League this season.
“At times, you go to Anfield and you sit in and you don’t really enjoy it because you don’t get the ball so much, but I really enjoyed the game, really enjoyed being part of it, taking Liverpool all the way, and we deserved more,” the captain observed.
“I’m really just gutted for the fans who travelled up because I just felt like we deserved a little bit more.
“I thought the boys were brilliant, losing Tomas just after half-time, then going 2-1 up, and obviously Lukasz has made a couple of mistakes, but it’s a team game and we should be there to dig him out after he’s done that, and he’s saved us many times over the years.
“I said to the boys as I walked in: ‘As much as it’s a sickening feeling as we felt like we deserved more, we’ve got to take a lot of positives from that’. We didn’t look like a team that was fighting a relegation battle.
“I just think we need to get back into training and take all the positives from that game and recover, because the games are going to come thick and fast now, and I’d say we need to win five of them.”