West Ham’s Mark Noble is over the moon to have goal machine Diafra Sakho back in the side ahead of their tough run of fixtures, reports the club's official site.
The lifelong Hammer has heaped praise on the Senegal international following his winning goal against Bristol City in the fourth-round of the FA Cup.
It was his first game after three weeks out with a back injury and he picked up where he left off by nodding home his 10th goal of the season to send West Ham through to the next round.
“He is having a great season, he is a goal machine. He knows where the back of the net is and he also knows where to be at the right time. We are over the moon to have him back in the squad with us and we are going to need him for the tough games to come,” Noble told the official club website.
The Irons are heading into their toughest run of the season by far with games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Southampton and Tottenham in the Premier League and a FA Cup tie against West Brom sandwiched in-between.
It doesn’t get much easier after that either, as a home match against Crystal Palace is followed by games against Chelsea and Arsenal.
So, Noble is right to be thrilled with the star striker’s return as we have seen already this season he can score against the top sides – he’s netted against United, Liverpool and Manchester City – and you wouldn’t bet against him coming up with the goods again.
It is pivotal West Ham keep Sakho fit for the remainder of the campaign as we saw against Bristol just how valuable he is to the east London outfit.
Having him in the starting XI will immediately fill the side with confidence as not only does he have the brilliant knack of being in the right place at the right time, he can also create something out of nothing which is invaluable against the top teams as they may be restricted to fewer chances.
Furthermore, the 25-year-old’s partnership with Andy Carroll is starting to look like a great fit. Carroll superbly assisted Sakho’s winner at Ashton Gate last time out and he also linked up expertly with him in a 3-1 win against Swansea in December.
They are a duo to be feared and any defence will struggle to contain them for 90 minutes which gives the Hammers a great chance of picking up points against any one.
Sakho’s clinical finishing and direct play has been instrumental in West Ham’s incredible season thus far and Noble knows he could be the difference in the coming weeks.