West Ham fans urged to get behind the team by skipper Mark Noble
Ugly scenes marred West Ham’s last home game, a 3-0 defeat to Burnley that kept them in a battle to avoid relegation.
West Ham captain Mark Noble has pleaded with supporters not to repeat the crowd trouble which marred the defeat by Burnley.
Angry fans invaded the pitch and congregated below the directors’ box to protest against the club’s owners David Gold and David Sullivan, with the latter being struck by a coin.
West Ham’s 3-0 loss plunged them closer to the relegation zone and they face a crucial clash with Southampton at the London Stadium on Saturday.
A further protest has been planned outside the ground before kick-off, but Noble has urged the fans to get behind the team during the match or face the prospect of dropping into the Championship.
Writing on the club’s website, long-serving midfielder Noble said: “Our last home game against Burnley was one of my toughest days in nearly 20 years at West Ham, and I never want to see scenes like that again. None of us do.
“I desperately want us to do well and for everyone to be happy, players and fans, but that day was one which none of us can look back on with any pride.
“We need everyone to be together and to be behind the team, because positive vibes really do inspire the players on the pitch.
“On the flip side, negativity can undoubtedly affect players’ concentration and confidence, as I believe it did in the second half against Burnley.
“I can understand the frustrations some of you are feeling. This season has not gone how we’d all hoped it would, but I would ask you to channel your passion to get behind the team, help us get through the season with our Premier League status intact, and we can sit down and reassess things in the summer.”
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady had a 45-minute meeting with London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Monday as both parties try to ensure there are no more disturbances.
Five fans have already received life bans for their part in the trouble on March 10.