(Reuters) - West Ham United must learn to hold onto a lead if they are to climb up the Premier League standings, club captain Mark Noble said ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool.
Slaven Bilic’s side have recorded two wins in their opening 10 league games of the season and currently sit a point above the relegation zone in 16th place.
They have lost five points from winning positions, allowing Southampton, Burnley and most recently Crystal Palace to score late goals, and Noble said such results could cost them in the long run.
“You can’t make mistakes like we made at Crystal Palace in the Premier League and expect to win matches, so we really need to learn how to hold onto a lead because we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot,” the 30-year-old midfielder told the club’s website (www.whufc.com).
“People talk about ‘managing the game’ and a lot of it is common sense. We need to be able to see the time out by slowing the play down and, in a way, get the opposition and their fans feeling anxious. I don’t think we have done that well enough this season.”
Over the last two seasons, West Ham have lost just once in six meetings with Liverpool in all competitions but Noble said his team will have to be at their best to beat Juergen Klopp’s men at the London Stadium.
“With where we are in the table and the fact we go into the final international break of the year after it, there is a massive motivation to win Saturday’s game,” Noble added.
“Liverpool at home is a big game - it always is. We’re at home, we’ll have the crowd behind us and we’ve got to roll our sleeves up, look forward to the game and do the basics right.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge