sport

Noble appeals to angry fans

West Ham's Mark Noble has appealed to fans to get behind the team after boos spoiled Wednesday's win over Hull City.

Some Hammers fans jeered their side off the pitch at Upton Park despite witnessing a vital 2-1 win over 10-man Hull that lifted them further away from the relegation places.

Manager Sam Allardyce cupped his ear towards the stands as he left the pitch and admitted afterwards he "couldn't believe" they were taunting him and his players following a key victory.

Noble believes their display was hardly a lesson in total football, but warned supporters that anxiety in the stands can resonate onto the pitch and affect their performances.

"I appreciate that we did not play our best football and that it wasn't pretty at times. More than anyone, I'm keen to get the ball down and play but sometimes it just doesn't happen for you," he told the club's official website.

"On behalf of all of the players, I can say that your support really can make a difference. But I must admit the anxiety from the stands can spill onto the pitch and get into our minds, as much as we try to ignore it.

"When that happens, some players can be affected and they make mistakes that they would not normally make - and that happened last night.

"For that reason, I would ask that you give your backing to the boys because I can tell you that we are giving 100 per cent for the club. We will always perform better when we are feeling relaxed and comfortable - as you would in any job."

West Ham's win lifted them to 11th in the Premier League, nine points clear of the drop zone, and just four points short of Allardyce's 38-point target to survive.

Their next fixture sees them travel to Sunderland on Monday Night Football next week, which is live on Sky Sports HD1 from 7pm.