NolanMark Noble has been quick to defend skipper Kevin Nolan who has become a hate figure among some sections of the Upton Park support.

The 31 year old was at the centre of ironic cheers when he was removed from the action against Crystal Palace.

Some fans gave him the same reception when being subbed in the two previous games and Noble has now spoken out in his defence.

He insists that the scouser still has an important role at the club declaring:  “Kev is brilliant in the dressing room and he has been unbelievable for us.

“He is big enough and strong enough to handle all that sort of stuff, so I am sure he will be fine.

“He is the gaffer’s man and he looks after the dressing room and all of the problems in there. You need someone like that.

“I do not think the gaffer has taken him off because of the way he was playing, he just wanted to change things.”

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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!"

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