‘Laughable Hammers will improve’

LONDON — West Ham captain Mark Noble says their “laughable” performances cannot get any worse following their 3-0 Premier League defeat to Southampton at London Stadium on Sunday.

Goals from Charlie Austin, Dusan Tadic and James Ward-Prowse condemned Slaven Bilic’s men’s to a fifth loss in their opening six matches, making it the Hammers’ worst start to a top-flight campaign in history.

West Ham sit 18th in the standings on three points, having conceded 14 goals in their last four games, with a shock Europa League playoff defeat to Astra Giurgiu last month compounding a dismal first few weeks at their new stadium.

Noble concedes their performances have been well short of the desired standard and felt they were fortunate not to be on the end of a bigger thrashing on Sunday.

“I thought we started all right and then ‘bang’ — we conceded a goal and, to be honest, we never looked back in it,” he told Sky Sports. “If I’m honest it could have been six in the end.

“(Goalkeeper) Adrian pulled off some good saves and on the bright side, I don’t think it can get any worse.

“It all blends into one, the start we had. The European games were not great. We got a good win here against Bournemouth and then it’s been downhill from there.

“Eleven goals conceded in three games is laughable and it’s not good enough. I think we could have kept playing until the next day and we wouldn’t have scored.”

Noble believes only a renewed work ethic is likely to pull West Ham out of their malaise.

“I have been in this position a lot of times at this club,” he said.

“We’ve got to work hard for each other and look to ourselves. We can’t blame each other.

“It’s not good enough but luckily enough it’s early in the season and we’ve got time to turn it round.”
— Agencies

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