West Ham midfielder Mark Noble calls on teammates to work harder

Mark Noble

West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble has called on his teammates to stop blaming bad luck and start working harder to stop the rot, starting at QPR today.

Noble is as close as you will get to a West Ham supporter on the pitch. And when the dyed-in-wool Hammers fan speaks about the club, he does so with some authority having racked up 268 games for the club by just 27 years of age.

The Canning Town-born star, who turns 28 in two weeks, has seen his fair share of ups and downs at the club since making his debut as a 17-year-old.

But assessing the club's rollercoaster season, which has seen the Hammers drop from the Champions League places at Christmas to mid-table after a run of just two wins since, Noble says his teammates must stop feeling sorry for themselves and instead earn results with hard graft, starting today in the London derby at Queens Park Rangers.

“You need to work harder to get that luck back," he told West Ham's official website.

"As they say, you make your own luck and we've got five games to go and we want to get some points on the board."

“From what I see in training every day and from what I see in the games, we've had a little bit of bad luck. The luck that was going for us at the beginning of the season ... it's not going for us at the minute."

Noble will hope he can be the one to drag his teammates out of their prolonged slump when they face relegation-threatened QPR at Loftus Road. And he will be coming up against a player with whom he shares a special bond from their time together at Upton Park, Bobby Zamora.

The picture of Noble celebrating on Zamora's back at the Millennium Stadium after the former Brighton and Fulham striker's 2005 play-off final winner against Preston North End will live long in the memory of Irons fans.

But the duo, who still enjoy the odd fishing trip together, will put friendship to one side as their teams battle for three points for very different reasons come kick off today.

QPR, in 19th place, are fighting to save their Premier League lives, while West Ham in 10th could be fighting to save their manager's job.

Should Rangers win they could rise as high as 16th. Anything but and they could find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table. The Hammers are playing for little more than pride, but could go back above Stoke City into ninth with a victory.

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