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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
West Ham United's Diafra Sakho celebrates after he scored the opening goal of the game for his side during the Barclays Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley.

West Ham’s summer holidays will be cut short with the news that they have officially qualified for next season’s Europa League.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
West Ham ratings

It was a season of two halves for West Ham which ultimately ended in Sam Allardyce leaving the club just three minutes after the final whistle at Newcastle. Here are how we rated the Hammers’ players this season.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Marcelo Bielsa   (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa appeared to give an emotional goodbye speech to France after their final games of the season at the weekend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Rafael Benitez, head coach of Napoli (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

West Ham’s managerial search looks to have suffered a setback with the news that Rafael Benitez is “99 per cent” certain to be the next Real Madrid coach.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Michael Laudrup former manager of Swansea City   (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

West Ham and Newcastle are both monitoring former Swansea boss Michael Laudrup as their managerial hunt continues.

What is this?

Near You Now

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more

Don't Miss...

West Ham Transfer News

Chelsea's Petr Cech attempts a save against Arsenal  (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The season is almost over, with the FA Cup final bringing the curtain down next weekend, so clubs all around the capital, country and Europe are now looking at summer transfer deals. Here is our handy Tuesday round-up.

Read more
Jackson Martinez of FC Porto battles with Dante and Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Premier League season is over but silly season has just begun. Here are the latest transfer rumours from around the web.

Read more
Gonzalo Higuain and Rafa Benitez

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain reportedly had a furious confrontation with manager Rafa Benitez after their 3-1 defeat to Juventus on Saturday.

Read more
Arturo Vidal of Juventus FC celebrates (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The latest transfer news and gossip on the final day of the Premier League season.

Read more
Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon  (Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)

The latest transfer news and rumours heading into the final weekend of the Premier League season.

Read more