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Slaven Bilic stands by Mark Noble

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West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has refused to criticise captain Mark Noble after he was targeted by the club’s fans following the defeat to Chelsea on Monday night.

The Blues recorded a 2-1 win at the London Stadium to continue their charge for the Premier League title, but the result left West Ham 11th in the league table.

Noble was at fault for the first goal as his misplaced pass was intercepted by N’Golo Kante before Eden Hazard scored.

Diego Costa then added a second for Chelsea and some fans called for Noble to be dropped.

However, Bilic is refusing to single out Noble and he is adamant the 29-year-old will continue to the lead team.

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He told reporters: “Mark is our captain, he is our skipper and he has done really well recently.

“He is the leader of the team. He keeps us balanced. Sometimes he has a great game and sometimes he doesn’t, but overall he is playing good for us.

“He is also more than a player on the pitch. His presence means a lot for the others around him. He is very influential, especially when it is not going well. He motivates the players and he cheers them up.

“You can’t just judge a player on one mistake. Otherwise Barcelona should have sold all their players after the first leg in Paris, and now they should give them all long-term contracts. Paris, the other way round. Sell them all.”

Noble will be expected to start Saturday’s clash with Bournemouth and the Hammers are priced at 2.75 to win. A Cherries win is available at 2.63, while the draw is 3.40 with Dafabet.