Noble shocked by Curbishley exit

September 4, 2008

West Ham midfielder Mark Noble has revealed his shock at the unexpected departure of manager Alan Curbishley - which he found out about on TV while away with England Under-21s.

Curbishley yesterday became the first managerial casualty of the Barclays Premier League season, resigning his post over a row regarding the make-up of the playing squad at Upton Park.

The 21-year-old is hoping to play in tomorrow night's Euro 2009 qualifier against Portugal at Wembley, but could not escape the fallout from the goings on back with his club in east London.

'We were just there sitting, eating lunch and we were watching all this stuff about Kevin Keegan,'' Noble said.

'I was talking to Steven Taylor about what's going on with Newcastle - and then, suddenly it has popped up that we have not got a manager at West Ham.

'West Ham is where I work and obviously what goes on there is going to affect me some way - but when you are away and you are with the boys here, training, you tend to forget what goes on back there.

'You have just got to deal with it. It is important that I do that and concentrate on what we have got to do here, and I go back on Monday and we will see what happens there.

'I have been in touch with some of my team-mates, but I think they know about as much as I do.

'We obviously know Curbishley's gone and someone else is going to be coming in and I think that is the only certainty at the minute.

'But football is football, and it is always going to be the same and you just go out there and play your game and I do not really think it matters what's going on behind the scenes.

'As players, whoever is left there, we just have to get on with it.''

Even though the position of the former Charlton boss had been under intense scrutiny for some time, Curbishley's men opened the new campaign with two wins from three Premier League matches which went someway to placate the club's demanding supporters.

Noble - who came through the Hammers' youth ranks - played in their last match, which was a morale-boosting 4-1 win over Blackburn at Upton Park.

West Ham are looking to make a swift appointment for what will be a fifth manager in just seven years, with Croatia boss Slavan Bilic, a former player, the favourite.

'It is important the issue does get sorted out sooner or later, for us, for the fans, the club, the players and the staff,'' Noble added.

'The most important thing is that for the game against West Brom, the players can go out there and do what we have been doing at the beginning of the season.

'It is our best start for nine years so hopefully we can keep that up and carry on.''