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West Ham captain Noble given time off by Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic has retained Mark Noble as captain throughout his time at West Ham Credit: PA

Mark Noble has been given time off by West Ham manager Slaven Bilic in a bid to rediscover his best form.

Hammers skipper Noble has been singled out for criticism by a section of fans following some underwhelming performances by the team this season.

Last term Noble was being touted for an England call-up but his form has dipped - and Bilic feels the responsibility of captaining his boyhood club during a challenging campaign this time around is weighing down the Canning Town-born midfielder.

Noble will be taken out of the firing line against Leicester on Saturday after aggravating a dead leg at Bournemouth last weekend, and Bilic has backed the 29-year-old to come back stronger after the international break.

He is the captain and is doing everything for the club. He is exactly what a captain should be, but sometimes it is too much.

Sometimes he takes it home and thinks about that - not only about him but about the club.

A man can take only what he can take, basically. I spoke about that with him. He is not available for Saturday and after that we have an international break.

I left it to him, his decision whether to go somewhere for a week and come back as strong as he was. I have no worries about Mark.

– Slaven Bilic

Bilic: Leicester vindicated in decision to sack Ranieri

Slaven Bilic of West Ham and Claudio Ranieri, formerly of Leicester Credit: PA

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic admits Leicester have been vindicated in their decision to axe Claudio Ranieri.

The Italian's sacking last month met with widespread condemnation after he led the Foxes to their shock Premier League title success last season.

But Leicester have been rejuvenated under Ranieri's replacement, Craig Shakespeare, having won back-to-back domestic games before Tuesday's epic victory over Sevilla to secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Bilic, whose side host the now flying Foxes on Saturday, was among those baffled by Ranieri's departure - but says the results since he left do not lie.

I said after they changed manager what I thought about it and still I don't understand it. But if you talk about results and performances they got what they wanted.

Still for me it was a bad decision, Claudio did very decently with them. But it's the nature of the job, you are the first one to pay the price.

No one can say it was the wrong decision, the three results have been brilliant and the team looks different.

It's a different team to four weeks ago. They played extremely well especially against Sevilla. It's a great result for them and for English football.

In all those three games they looked very lively, three wins on the spin including qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Champions League gives them a big boost.

– Slaven Bilic


Bilic wishes Payet well after West Ham exit

Dimitri Payet's behaviour alienated West Ham fans. Credit: PA

Slaven Bilic insists Dimitri Payet does not owe West Ham fans an apology.

Payet is public enemy number one with the Hammers faithful after refusing to play for the club as he engineered his move back to Marseille.

The France international finally completed the protracted and controversial £25million transfer on Sunday evening.

"Does he owe an apology? No. I wouldn't say that," said the West Ham boss.

"Players are always moving and I'm not going that deep into what he should say or shouldn't. He is gone, he went home, that was his wish and I will not forget how good he was for us.

"He was brilliant. I was so happy and proud, with my team, my staff, to help him achieve what he did. What he achieved with us was a great story for West Ham, for the Premier League and for France.

"I ain't going to forget it just because he moved. I really wish him well."

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