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Noble on a Hammers top priority

Mark Noble has made it clear that Mickey Antonio’s welfare has to remain a top priority at West Ham.

He knows that the striker needs to be carefully managed because – as demonstrated at Leeds – he is a totally key man at the club.

“There’ll be times we haven’t got him this season, but he’s been so good for us over the years,” Noble told whufc.com. per Hammers NewsLeeds United v West Ham United - Premier League

Photo by Stu Forster Getty Images

“For how much we bought him for, value for money, what he’s given to the team and given to the club, he’s been phenomenal, and he deserves all the credit he’s getting at the minute and we are going to need him for sure in a lot of games this year.

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“We also have to be careful because you can’t just play him every week and in midweek games in Europe and cup games because it’s not fair to him. He needs to be fresh and bright and he needs to be the Mich we know.

“I’m pretty sure the manager will judge when to put him in and take him out, and he’s a really valuable asset to our team at the moment.”

Claret and Hugh says: So much has been written about Mickey it’s difficult to know where to start when adding more words but the guy has been incredible and for me has reached the legenfdary status too easily handed out in many cases. He was bought by Slaven back on deadline day in 2015 for around £7 million from Nottingham Forest but the idea that six years later he could become one of the Premier league’s top front men would barely have extended into the imagination of most people. It’s easy to remember the days when Slav said he would become the best right back in the Premier League. He may be smiling at himself now. As for the next couple of games, I certainly wouldn’t be tempted to play him on Thursday but the match against Brentford is one where he could make a real difference.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon