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West Ham skipper is a relieved man after notching first goal of the season

PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 February 2019

West Ham United's Mark Noble (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mate Felipe Anderson during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

West Ham United's Mark Noble (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mate Felipe Anderson during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Hammer Noble says draw was the right result against Crystal Palace

West Ham United's Mark Noble scores his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.West Ham United's Mark Noble scores his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

His first Premier League goal was that superb drive in the memorable 4-3 home defeat by Tottenham back in the ‘Great Escape’ year of 2007.

Since then he has scored in every Premier League season he has played in, but this year was getting a little bit stressful for him.

Until that is at Selhurst Park on Saturday he sent the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to score his first of the campaign.

“I am a bit relieved about it,” said the 31-year-old West Ham skipper. “I have scored in every other Premier League season I have played in, so I was a bit worried at drawing a blank.

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“When it finally hit the back of the net, I was pretty relieved.”

He should have been pretty confident from the spot. The midfield star is third behind only Leighton Baines and David Unsworth in the proportion of penalties to goals. Noble has 21 spot kicks out of 38 goals.

Despite the goal, West Ham could not see it through to take all three points and Noble admitted that the 1-1 draw was about right.

“It was a fair result,” he said. “The first half we were the better side and went in 1-0 up.

“To be honest, I was a bit disappointed we didn’t go in two up and then they the much better side in the second half.”

That second half was a real backs to the wall display and despite letting in a late goal, Noble was pleased with the way they went about things.

“It was tough, but even though you are under the cosh, it gives you belief about the way you can defend as a team,” he said.

“We didn’t do that at Burnley or at Wolves, but in this game you could see the real team spirit.”

January was tough for the Hammers, but Noble is happy to have got through it.

“I think the month of January has been like that and a lot of that was to do with players being unsettled, but I am proud of the effort the lads put in,” he said.

“January obviously affected us because we didn’t get the results, but I would never blame a player for that because they have families and you have to understand where they are coming from. With 11 injuries it has not been easy either, but we can still finish higher up the table.

“What we have to do is put two or three wins together.”

West Ham have a week off before they take on Fulham at the London Stadium the following Friday night.

“We will be working very hard in training because the Fulham match will not be easy,” said the skipper.

“I think it will be a real battle for the seventh position this season and it will go right up to the end of the season, but if we can play like we have been doing then we will have every chance.”

They have a chance, but they will need Noble firing in more goals if they are to manage it.

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