Noble urges his team-mates to stay calm

Town midfielder Mark Noble today urged a sense of calm in the wake of Ipswich's recent form slump.The on-loan teenager is as disappointed as anyone that Town followed their defeat at Colchester by being thumped 5-1 by West Brom.

By Mel Henderson

Town midfielder Mark Noble today urged a sense of calm in the wake of Ipswich's recent form slump.

The on-loan teenager is as

disappointed as anyone that Town followed their defeat at Colchester by being thumped 5-1 by West Brom.

But the 19-year-old, who is due to return to West Ham next month, remembers how the Hammers suffered similarly two seasons ago and recovered to win promotion to the Premiership.

Noble said: “We hit a bad patch and we were well outside the top six in January last year - then we shot up the league and went all the way to Cardiff and won the play-off final.”

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West Ham gained a 1-0 win over Preston, tonight's visitors to Portman Road, on that occasion and everyone with Town's interests at heart would settle for a similar scoreline this evening to halt the recent rot.

Noble added: “Anything can happen in this league, as we showed two seasons ago, and it can be the same for Ipswich this time.

“We have to take what has happened to us in the past two games on the chin and make a huge collective effort to turn the corner.

“Everyone has to stick together - not just the players, but the fans and the staff as well - and do our utmost to put things right.”

Noble is in no mood to make excuses for the below-par displays, although he believes circumstances at the weekend conspired against Ipswich.

He said: “We suffered a bit of a backlash with the West Brom players out to impress a new manager, but that doesn't hide the fact that we were well below our best.

“We didn't play to the best of our capabilities. From our point of view it was just one of those days, there's no doubt Albion were good on the day.

“But it's good that we have an early opportunity to recover, rather than dwell on the heavy defeat for too long. The best thing we can do is to put it to the back of our minds.

“This league is still wide open, especially with 35 games still to be played, and we showed earlier in the season what we're capable of doing.

“We got a pasting on Saturday and there's no point denying it. But if we can regain the form we showed in taking 13 points out of 15, from the games against QPR, Southampton, Coventry, Birmingham and Sunderland, we can turn things round.”

Noble gave a brief insight into the atmosphere in the home dressing room following Albion's emphatic win when he added: “Everyone was low.

“The gaffer came in and told us a few home truths. Let's just say he got his message across that results like that are not good enough for this club.

“Jim Magilton is a winner and defeat clearly hurts. We want to go out against Preston and make amends for him, ourselves, everyone at the club and, of course, the supporters.

“I know Preston are a top side but I would rather take on one of the better teams in the league than one that would come here and just shut up shop.

“Preston will want to get the ball down and play, which will suit us better. We have plenty of players with ability and I always find it more enjoyable to play in games that are more open, rather than those when the opposition come looking for a 0-0 draw.”

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