West Ham captain – and Boleyn Ground fixture – Mark Noble wants his players to respond both to the setback against Swansea on Saturday and the likely high emotion of their last fixture at Upton Park.
The 4-1 defeat meant that West Ham lost touch with the Champions League places and further defeats could jeopardise all the hard work the club has put in to get a Europa League slot as well.
West Ham face a fired-up Manchester United side at the Boleyn on Tuesday (May 10) where a lot is at stake for both clubs. He wants a “special” performance.
Noble said: “I’m not going to dwell on it because we’ve been fantastic this year. We’re still fighting and we’re still in a fantastic position, so let’s not forget where we’ve come from. We’ve improved massively this year.
“All I’d say is that we know it’s a bad result. I’ve played in every game this year and we’ve done fantastically and we need to get back to winning ways on Tuesday.
“We’re itching to get back out there and put things right, of course we are. It’s the last game ever at this place and it’s going to be special.”
A son of Canning Town, Noble, 29, is the Hammers’ longest serving player, joining as a full-time trainee in 2003 although he has memories of watching West Ham from the stand, including Paolo Di Canio’s volley against Wimbledon in 2000 which was recently voted the best goal ever at the Boleyn.
His chance to join his heroes came with a surprise call-up to the first team for a visit to Championship rivals Crewe Alexandra in 2004.
Noble said: “I was sitting upstairs watching the game once and one of the scouts came in and said ‘Come in your tracksuit tomorrow because you are travelling with the first team.’
“I think I was 16 at the time and Alan Pardew was in charge. I sat here with the first team, in awe of all the players. It was pretty surreal.”