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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Noble: Improvement needed

Mark Noble concedes that West Ham United need to raise their game considerably if they are to avoid becoming locked in a survival scrap.

Last Updated: 07/12/13 at 14:47 Post Comment

Mark Noble: Looking for West Ham to show their true colours

Mark Noble: Looking for West Ham to show their true colours

Inconsistency has blighted the Hammers throughout the 2013/14 campaign, and they are paying the price.

Injuries to key men such as Andy Carroll have hardly helped their cause, but others have failed to step up in his absence.

Standards were allowed to dip below an acceptable level again on Tuesday as Sam Allardyce's side were beaten 1-0 away at fellow strugglers Crystal Palace, and Noble admits it is time for the entire squad to stand up and be counted ahead of a testing trip to Liverpool on Saturday.

He said in the Newham Recorder: "In this league, if you don't take your chances and score goals, you get punished and I don't know how many times I have said that this season.

"It is the same old thing, we have to work hard to improve. We have got a tough game at Liverpool on Saturday, but now we have to go up there and look for a win, because we need one."

Noble added, with the Hammers currently three points above the drop zone: "We are not expected to win at Liverpool, but if anything that takes a bit of pressure off us.

"We know how tough it is to go and play up there, but we have seen in this league that everyone is beating everybody else at the minute.

"I wouldn't write us off just yet and then we have another game against Sunderland, who are in and around us, and it will be really important to get points off them.

"It comes just before the Christmas programme and the players will have to be ready mentally and physically for that challenge."

One man who will be missing at Anfield is Ravel Morrison.

The England U21 international picked up a fifth booking of the season after the final whistle against Palace, having clashed with Joel Ward, but Noble believes trying to curb the midfielder's aggression would be ill-advised.

He added: "I don't really know what happened, but he hasn't been any trouble with us the whole season. He's lost a game and he is frustrated, we all are.

"I don't know whether someone has celebrated in front of his face, but emotions are high and if you take that edge away from him, then you take away a lot of his ability too.

"He is a young lad and he is still learning.

"I am sure he is going to get kicked along the way because of his ability, but he has got to learn to live with that if he wants to do the tricks and skills that he does. Players think he is trying to take the mick out of them, he ain't, it is just the way he plays."

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