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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Noble: Next two games vital

Mark Noble has called on West Ham United to 'stand up and be counted' ahead of two 'vital' games in the Premier League.

Last Updated: 25/11/13 at 16:38 Post Comment

Mark Noble: Celebrates his goal for West Ham against Everton

Mark Noble: Celebrates his goal for West Ham against Everton

West Ham have won just once in the league since the opening day of the season and were comfortably beaten 3-0 at home by Chelsea at the weekend.

That result left Sam Allardyce's side outside the relegation zone on goal difference and West Ham's next game is at home to 18th-placed Fulham.

The Hammers then travel to 19th-placed Crystal Palace and Noble is looking forward to facing two teams who are also fighting at the wrong end of the table.

The midfielder is also waiting to see if Allardyce continues with the 4-6-0 formation that has been used in recent weeks after striker Modibo Maiga was brought on as a substitute just before half-time against Chelsea.

"It's up to gaffer what he does, but in the second half we had more of a focal point and it looked a bit more balanced," said Noble in the Evening Standard about whether a striker will start against Fulham.

"It seemed to work a bit better but Chelsea were 2-0 up by then and probably took their foot off the gas a little.

"I just can't believe the way it's going at the minute. We were holding Chelsea OK and then we give away another unbelievable goal.

"After the way things have been going this season, giving penalties away and the opposition scoring from free-kicks, this was another kick in the nether regions.

"The next two games, against Fulham and Crystal Palace, are vital for us now and we have to stand up and be counted. They will be tough but I'm looking forward to them."

West Ham have scored just five goals in six home games this season and full-back Joey O'Brien acknowledged their form at Upton Park is a worry.

O'Brien told the club's official website: "The home form is a concern for us, particularly not scoring goals. That's the main issue, and the next two games are massive.

"We find ourselves in a fight and we need six points. Both ourselves and Fulham are in need of the three points next week and we'll be doing our best for them."

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