West Ham midfielder Mark Noble is expecting a difficult three games without Andy Carroll available for selection.
The burly striker has only just returned from a long-term injury lay-off following his big money move to East London from Liverpool last year, and has shown signs of being the presence the Irons have missed.
But the Hammers will have to cope without the England international once again, after he was shown a red card for an incident involving Swansea’s Chico Flores last weekend.
The striker appeared to make minimal contact with the Spaniard, but despite an appeal he will have to serve a three match suspension.
Carroll will miss the upcoming clashes with Aston Villa, Norwich and Southampton, which could be a vital run in their quest to avoid relegation.
Noble says that the ex-Newcastle man’s absence will be felt, and has urged the rest of the team to rally around to help soften the blow:
“Andy being suspended is obviously a massive miss for us.” He told the London Evening Standard.
“For him to be back the way he was and then to miss him for another three games is going to be tough but we have to dig in and get results without him.
“Everyone will have to play their part to try and get us three points away from home.
“We’re three points off eleventh, so getting ourselves back in that pack with the win against Swansea was important.
“It would be good to go to Aston Villa and get the three points before another winnable home game against Norwich City.
“We’re looking up rather than down at the moment and even though we’re in the bottom three, I’m sure we can claw our way back.”