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Noble out?

Filed: Friday, 8th February 2008
By: Matthew O'Greel

Alan Curbishley has hinted that Mark Noble may miss out against Birmingham at the weekend.

The Hammers boss confirmed that the 20-year-old midfielder may to be rested after featuring against Wigan, Liverpool and Croatia under 21s since last Wednesday.

"He played a big game on Tuesday," said Curbishley at yesterday's pre-match press conference.

"He's played three games in six days and was a bit stiff yesterday - so we'll see what we've got tomorrow really.

"He ran an enormous amount during the [Liverpool] game. He looked a little bit tired against Wigan and he's had to go and play again on Tuesday night and run an enormous amount again.

"I'm not in a position to rotate it too much but what I know when I play Mark Noble is what I'm going to get - he'll give us everything he's got."

Lee Bowyer is likely to step into Noble's place if the youngster is rested against Birmingham, who are back in the bottom three despite spending big in January's transfer window.

Elsewhere there is good news ahead of Saturday; back in contention are Julien Faubert, Nobby Solano and Luis Boa Morte - although Bobby Zamora is likely to require further match practice before being considered for selection.

"Julien played a full reserve game on Wednesday; Nobby Solano obviously came on at Wigan and played in the reserve game as well," added Curbishley. "With Ljungberg, that's three people at the moment who can play in that position.

"We've got Matty Etherington and Boa Morte on the other side; Freddie can play on the other side too so we are getting some of the players together."

Fortunately for Curbishley all those players on international duty in midweek appear to have emerged unscathed.

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