West Ham captain sees all positives ahead of Newcastle United match
Mark Noble can’t wait for today’s game at St James Park.
The West Ham captain buoyed by last season’s sixth place finish leading to European competition, as well as an unbeaten pre-season.
The Hammers head into Sunday’s match having won their last four friendlies at Reading (3-0), Celtic (6-2), Brentford (1-0) and home to Atalanta (2-0).
Newcastle having had more of a struggle in pre-season with defeats to Burnley and sixth tier York, as well as a lucky late draw at League One Rotherham. Though NUFC did end the pre-season with a 3-0 over Norwich, though the Canaries were missing eight first team players due to injury and self-isolating.
The real stuff starts today though and Mark Noble is looking to playing in front of the ‘great set of fans’ at Newcastle United. The game won’t be a sell out but around 50,000 expected with the novelty of seeing football live for the first time in a year and a half a big attraction. Questions longer term at St James Park with well over 10,000 season tickets left unsold, due to Ashley’s ongoing ownership and Steve Bruce remaining as Head Coach.
Another three points would have seen West Ham in the Champions League this season, Mark Noble and the other Hammers left ruing the fact that losing both games to Newcastle United was the difference.
Last season, Newcastle United started the season with a 2-0 win at West Ham before then losing 3-0 at home to Brighton.
A reminder of life’s ups and downs as a Newcastle fan, hopefully today with be another fairly important and confidence building up.
Mark Noble talking to West Ham official site:
“I think it’s important to get points on the board early doors.
“It’s such an important part of the league, the first five or six games.
“It gives you a real foothold in the league if you get a few wins.
“Newcastle away is a tough, tough place to go, so I think it’ll be an entertaining first game and hopefully we can come away with the points.
“The boys have looked strong in pre-season and hopefully we can carry that on to Sunday afternoon.
“Having 30,000 [fans] back against Atalanta last weekend was pretty special for us. It was great to have them back – the noise was a little bit strange for the first five minutes because it’s been dead silent for near on 18 months now.
“It’s lovely to have them back and good to see smiling faces and kids at the game.
“Obviously up at St James’ it’s going to be tough, they’re a great set of fans up there and then it’s Leicester at home on the Monday night the week after, which I’m really looking forward to.
“Europe is going to be great – I think it’s going to other places, seeing other stadiums and playing against some of the best players.
“For my last season it’s pretty special, but it’s something that we can try to enjoy but go into a mindset of why can’t we go on and do something special this season in this competition? Hopefully that’s what we’re going to do.
“My main aim is to stay fit, have a strong season and try to get as far as we can in the Europa League.”
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