Mark Noble: The fans were right behind us

Mark Noble against Southampton

West Ham United captain Mark Noble has paid tribute to the Claret and Blue Army after they roared his team on to victory against Southampton on Saturday afternoon.

The Irons went into the match with a steadfast resolve to secure their first Premier League win in eight matches – a resolve which, judging from the thunderous backing they enjoyed from the off, echoed amongst their full-of-voice supporters.

In the moments prior to kick-off,  the players emerged from the tunnel to a resounding rendition of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, before a number of them went across to the touchline to applaud the appreciative crowd, duly receiving that support back ten-fold.

The resulting wave of sound was still ringing when the whistle sounded and the game began, with goals from Jarrod Bowen, Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio going on to cap a superb West Ham performance full of pace, power and flair.

They were right behind us and I thought they were great. They helped us out and we got the three points

Mark Noble

Speaking after the match, Noble praised the supporters for their excellent backing on the afternoon, acknowledging the impact it made on matters on the pitch.

“You can normally tell before the game what the fans are going to be like when they sing 'Bubbles', and [Saturday] it was really loud,” he recalled.

“They were right behind us and I thought they were great. They helped us out and we got the three points.”

With Haller’s and Antonio’s well-taken goals after half-time putting the Hammers seemingly into a position of comfort, such support saw them right through to the final whistle.

Having been in a similar position in recent weeks, however – West Ham were 3-1 up against Brighton entering the final 15 minutes, only to draw – Noble admitted having some nerves, but also cited his side's heroic efforts against Liverpool at Anfield the preceding Monday as inspiration.

“We let ourselves down here against Brighton being 3-1 up,” he observed, with typical honesty “Obviously, you could tell the game was a little bit anxious at times, because of the results we’ve had. 

“I think our performance against Liverpool in the week gave us a platform to go on and win. After three tough games last week, and another couple this week, it’s been tough, but it was a good win.

“At this stage in the season, performances really don’t matter, it’s results. I’ve said in the past we’ve had way too many mistakes this year that’ve cost us. Today [Saturday], we hardly made one, and that’s when you go and get results like that.”

Mark Noble and Jarrod Bowen

The win saw West Ham move outside of the relegation zone and up into 16th, one of three sides on 27 points.

With ten games to go and a clutch of teams ahead of them now also within reach, the skipper is hoping his side can use Saturday's performance as a platform from which to kick on for the final quarter of the season.

He said: “I’m hoping now, after the result, that we can start moving in the right direction. 

“We’ve still got a lot of tough games coming up and it’s still going to be a relegation battle until the end, but I do hope that we’ve got enough in the changing room. 

“I believe in the players we’ve got in there. I think you can see that, and hopefully we can get ourselves out of it.”

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