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.”

Live Blog Transfer Window Live July 25

 

Latest Stories

15:01
The Back to the Future preview of Secret Cinema has been cancelled

Secret Cinema have cancelled their Back to the Future events until July 31.

Read more
The two parts of the chair were inspired by the curves of an anonymous male model [Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker][Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker]

A London designer has created a unique chair designed to look, feel and smell like human skin.

Read more
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Quizzes

Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more
Which London club play their home games at this stadium...? (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground buff? Test your stadium knowledge with this brilliant quiz.

Read more

West Ham Transfer News

Jack Collison  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Wales international Jack Collison wants to prove himself during a pre-season spell at QPR - with a move to Loftus Road of interest to the former West Ham midfielder.

Read more
PSG forward Edinson Cavani  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Another busy day of transfer news is out of the way and we have plenty of stories for you to get your teeth into.

Read more
Man United winger Wilfried Zaha (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha wants to impress new boss Louis van Gaal and isn’t thinking about leaving Old Trafford.

Read more
Samuel Eto'o. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It is set to be another busy day transfer-wise and so we have compiled all of this morning’s news from around the web to get us underway.

Read more
Juventus striker Carlos Tevez  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Carlos Tevez insists he never thought about following Antonio Conte out of Juventus - even if his old foe Roberto Mancini had been appointed as their new head coach.

Read more