West Ham still learning Slaven Bilic style, says Mark Noble

Mark Noble

The Hammers struggled in the Europa League on Thursday but the midfielder is keen for some perspective to be adopted.

West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble has told the club’s official website that the side are still learning new manager Slaven Bilic’s style.

The former Besiktas and Croatia boss was brought in last month as Sam Allardyce’s replacement after his contract in Turkey came to an end at the climax of last season.

He has been tasked with bringing a more eye-catching style of football to Upton Park after both fans and owners grew disillusioned with the fare that was on offer under Allardyce.

And Noble says they are still learning Bilic’s methods ahead of the new season after requiring a penalty shootout to see off Maltese minnows Birkirkara in the Europa League qualifiers on Thursday.

“Obviously it didn’t help with James (Tomkins) getting sent off and playing the rest of the game with ten men, in a country this hot,” he told whufc.com.

“But overall we won the game, we’re in the hat, we’re only getting fitter. We’re learning how the manager wants us to play and as long as we’re in the next round, we’ve got a game next Thursday, we’re buzzing.”

Perspective needed

The long-serving midfielder was also keen to emphasise that the side are still in pre-season and the football will get better as time goes on.

The club have been forced to start their campaign much earlier than everyone else as they seek to qualify for the Europa League group stages after reaching the tournament via the Fair Play league last season.

The result against Birkirkara was obviously not ideal for anyone, but with it being some players’ second game, Noble is keen to add some perspective.

“It’s obviously not [how we planned it], but we’re still in pre-season,” he added.

“I know it’s the Europa League and we are taking it seriously, but it’s only some of the boys’ second game.”

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