Mark Noble wants West Ham United to recreate the spirit of 2007 as they attempt to steer clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
The Hammers looked all but doomed 13 years ago but, with a teenage Noble in inspirational form, won seven of their final nine top-flight matches to stay up.
While the situation may not be quite as critical this time around, Noble knows West Ham need to start picking up points, starting with tomorrow’s home game with Brighton & Hove Albion, if they are not to require a similarly dramatic finish this time around.
“I was thinking the other night about 2006/07,” the captain recalled. “We had Bobby Zamora and Carlos Tevez in top form. It seemed like everyone eventually just clicked. We played the same team for ten games solid.
“[This time around] We need probably five wins. That’s easily doable, but we do need the five wins for sure.”
We know the fixtures coming up [are away at Manchester City and Liverpool]. Brighton becomes a must-win game on Saturday
Facing Brighton will also bring back fond memories of 2007 for Noble, who scored his first senior goal in Claret and Blue in an FA Cup third-round win over the Seagulls in January of that year.
Another strike tomorrow would be the 32-year-old’s 47th in the Premier League, equalling the record set by Paolo Di Canio in 2003.
“I scored my first goal against Brighton – Carlos Tevez set me up,” he smiled. “Good finish! Quality, into the ground, and jumped on Teddy Sheringham!
“I remember that was my first goal and I remember it was my cousin’s birthday that day, and I went to a pub bar in Upminster. I walked in there and I just thought I’d be able to sit with my family and have a couple of drinks, but I remember getting mobbed, it being absolute carnage, thinking ‘This is wicked! This is what I want!’.”
Fast-forward 13 years and what Noble wants is three points on Saturday, and he says the Hammers’ performance in Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat by runaway leaders Liverpool was cause for optimism that they can achieve that target.
“The feeling was quite positive in the dressing room,” he revealed. “We just said ‘If we create those kind of chances and play like that against the teams around us, we’ve got a chance’.
“We know the fixtures coming up [are away at Manchester City and Liverpool]. Brighton becomes a must-win game on Saturday.”