West Ham captain Mark Noble blamed an unprecedented number of individual errors for the relegation battle the club find themselves in but insists they have the fight to get out of trouble.
The 3-2 defeat at Liverpool made it just two points from the last seven matches but what was more galling was it was another occasion when the Hammers threw away a winning position.
David Moyes’ side have the worst record in the Premier League for dropping points when leading (22), having failed to win eight of the 15 matches in which they scored first and their fans unveiled banners protesting against the club’s owners during the defeat, with the release of black balloons.
The skipper on tonight’s performance: pic.twitter.com/zshXs3ZExp
— West Ham United (@WestHam) February 24, 2020
Noble said: “Definitely this season individual errors have cost us a lot of points. The team has lost more points than anyone else from winning positions.
“We’ve been in the lead so much and if we had managed to stay in the lead in the games we’ve led in, we’d be fourth or fifth in the league.”
While they had to come from behind after conceding first at Anfield, they were 2-1 up with 22 minutes to go until goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski’s howler in allowing Mohamed Salah’s shot through his arms.
It is the latest in a long line of errors which have left West Ham 18th in the table, a point from safety, and while Noble did not blame the Poland international, he did note it was another self-inflicted defeat.
“In all honesty you normally come to Anfield and it is not enjoyable at all and you usually sit in the changing room afterwards and you know you have been beaten by a much better team,” said Noble.
“In the changing room afterwards we were gutted we didn’t come away with more.
“We gave them a good game and scored two really good goals. It is just a shame this season, more than any other season I have been involved with, that individual errors have really cost us.
“Lukasz has been an unbelievable goalkeeper for us the last few years and dug us out of many a hole.
“There has been many a time I’ve walked into the changing room and give him a cuddle and said thank you for the saves he has pulled off.
“He came in and said sorry but for me I don’t like it, I don’t want him to say that because he has saved us so many times.”
After back-to-back matches against the top two in Liverpool and Manchester City, West Ham can now turn their attention to the nitty gritty of the relegation battle.
Noble believes the display at Anfield makes them optimistic they will escape.
“The players themselves know what they have to do,” he added.
“We had nothing to lose (against Liverpool). No one expected us to go there and win or even get a point.
“We looked like we had a right go after the defeat at City, which we didn’t even take part in the game, and if anyone watched this, they could say it is not a team that is going to roll over.
“It is one of those where you can come in and be pretty proud of the performance.”