West Ham’s Noble: ‘Mackay used to give me rollockings!’

08:58 01 May 2012

West Ham United

West Ham United's team celebrate their victory

EMPICS Sport

West Ham player of the year Mark Noble remembers Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay during his time at Upton Park and why he will be no pushover in the play-off semi-final

He was part of the squad that suffered play-off heartbreak against Crystal Palace in 2004 and then played as a substitute when West Ham beat Preston North End 1-0 to secure a Premier League place a year later.

But this time Mark Noble is hoping to be one of the leading lights as he and the Hammers prepare for a third play-off bid in eight years.

Now 24 and West Ham’s longest-serving player, Noble remembers those first two games with pride and pleasure.

“I was part of the squad for the Crystal Palace game, but I was only about 17 or something,” said the Canning Town-born West Ham fan.

“I remember getting a suit for the occasion, because I had never had a suit before!”

A year later and Alan Pardew’s team were once more at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to take on Preston in the play-off final and this time, Noble, who has just turned 18, got his chance.

“I just remember it was unbelievable for me because I was still a young kid,” he said.

“I remember sitting on the bench and Pards (Alan Pardew) saying, ‘get ready, you are going to come on’.”

Noble was brought on in the 82nd minute for Shaun Newton, but with a lengthy injury lay-off when goalkeeper Jimmy Walker was flattened, he was on for a good 15 minutes as the Hammers held on to a lead given to them by Bobby Zamora.

“It was an unbelievable occasion to get out there to help see a game out and win it and the feeling afterwards was amazing.

“I’ve only ever had that feeling a couple of times in my career and hopefully I will get it again,” he said.

One player who was in the same squad as Noble that year, but who missed out on a play-off place was current Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay.

It was Mackay’s injury back in March that had heralded the arrival of Elliott Ward in the starting line-up and with it the renaissance in West Ham’s fortunes that would eventually lead them to sneak into sixth place.

“Strangely enough I played with Malky here quite a few times,” revealed Noble.

“He is a top bloke and you could always tell he was going to go on to management because he was always giving me rollickings in games and in training,” he joked.

West Ham’s two play-off finals were in Cardiff, the same city where West Ham will look to carve out a first-leg lead this week, but the spoils for the winner of the semi-final this time will be a trip to Wembley Stadium.

“The play-off final was great occasion for me even though it was at Cardiff rather than Wembley,” he said.

“But to go and play at Wembley would be amazing and I know that we will fill our allocation of tickets 100 per cent.

“But I am not thinking about that at all,” he insisted.

“We have got to overcome Cardiff City and it would be total disrespect to be talking about Wembley already because they are a top team and we need to beat them first.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest West Ham news

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Paris Saint-Germain (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

There will be plenty of talent on the free agent market this summer. Here’s our team of the best players available.

Friday, February 12, 2016
File photo dated 12-12-2015 of West Ham United's Mark Noble

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic cannot believe Mark Noble is still being overlooked by England.

Friday, February 12, 2016
An injured Andy Carroll of West Ham United leaves the pitch (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

West Ham’s injuries are piling up ahead of the Barclays Premier League trip to Norwich.

Friday, February 12, 2016
West Ham United players score their second goal during the Emirates FA Cup, fourth round replay match at Upton Park, London.

Former West Ham midfielder and London24 columnist Jack Collison believes the magic is still alive…

Friday, February 12, 2016
Dimitri Payet of West Ham (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan posted an open letter on the club’s official website to welcome Dimtri Payet’s new five-year deal.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Read more
Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport