West Ham United have waited a long time to taste victory away at Manchester United – 14 years in fact – so Mark Noble was going to enjoy every moment of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup third round win at Old Trafford.
Just three days after Sunday’s dramatic, cruel defeat to the same opponents, the Hammers bounced back in the best possible way by taking an early lead through Manuel Lanzini and then holding it to the end thanks to a resolute defensive effort.
There were chances for a second too, with Jarrod Bowen, Andry Yarmolenko and Noble himself all going close, and the skipper felt his team deserved their reward for the considerable effort they expended on the pitch.
“I think all in all, it’s a great night for West Ham,” he beamed at full time. “It’s a fantastic night for myself and all the other players who took part and got a wonderful victory at Manchester United, because from my experience they don’t come along often.
“For our travelling fans to come up here and see us win at Old Trafford – the last time we won here I was playing with Carlos Tevez – so that was 14 years ago and it’s a pretty special night.”
Noble hailed the impact of the players that came into the team – manager David Moyes made ten changes to his side – and said they all took the opportunity which came their way.
“[Winning in this competition] gives a chance for players that aren’t playing regularly,” the No16 continued. “We’ve had a really good start to the season, and have a good squad of players now.
“When you do get a chance you have to take it and I think a lot of the boys did that tonight."
For our travelling fans to come up here and see us win at Old Trafford – the last time we won here I was playing with Carlos Tevez – so that was 14 years ago and it’s a pretty special night
And for Noble personally, after his own disappointment of missing that penalty at the weekend, he was delighted to bounce back with the victory.
“This is what this game does to you,” he added. “You put your boots back on and you come out and play and the boys were fantastic.
“Sunday night, sitting at home, I felt sick as a pig, but you wake up in the morning and you go into training and think: ‘Right I’ve got to play on Wednesday and get ready for it’.
“You’re going to get knocked as a football player, I’m old enough to realise that, and at the end of the day you’ve got to be brave enough to step up and take responsibility. I missed [the penalty] but tonight, I’ve come out at Old Trafford, one of the best places to play in the world, and I’ve enjoyed it.”