Curbs wanted Noble rested
Alan Curbishley has revealed he asked Stuart Pearce to leave Mark Noble out of his England U21 squad.
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 20/03/08 10:19pm
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley has revealed he asked England Under 21 boss Stuart Pearce to give Mark Noble a rest from international duty over fears of player burnout.
Noble has not been included in Pearce's squad for next week's friendly with Poland and Curbishley hopes the extra rest will do the midfielder the power of good.
Noble has been a regular for The Hammers this season but Curbishley believes it is important not to overburden young players.
He explained: "I went to go and see Stuart Pearce a couple of weeks ago because the last time he went away to go and play against Ireland we had to give him two days off here when he came back because he was shattered after putting so much in.
"I had the conversation with Stuart about burnout because Mark Noble up until about two weeks ago, along with Hayden Mullins, had played just about every game for us.
"It is a friendly, so Stuart has taken the opportunity to give him a rest.
"Some players haven't had a break all season and with the development of young players, you don't want to burn them out.
"It is still a learning thing for him and it will make him stronger physically and mentally for next year."
Difficult for kids
Another youngster to make an impression at Upton Park has been Freddie Sears, who came off the bench to score the winner against Blackburn at the weekend.
Talented teenagers James Tomkins and Jack Collison are also waiting in the wings but Curbishley concedes it is growing harder and harder to blood such players.
"The three of them have been around us for a while, and they are just waiting to get the 90 minutes," said Curbishley.
"I was not afraid to put the young players in at Charlton, but the strength of the Premier League makes it very difficult for kids to get in now.
"We all want to finish as high up as we can, so when will these young kids get a chance?
"Some Premier League sides take the opportunity in the cups to give their players a go. However, this year we attacked the cups with our strongest side available because we thought they were competitions we could do well in."
Curbishley has also offered words of encouragement to Robert Green and Dean Ashton, both of whom were left out of Fabio Capello's England squad on Friday.
"Things can change very quickly," said Curbishley. "No-one can say Rob has not had a fantastic season, and in the 4-0 defeats we had I don't think he could get near many of them.
"Dean Ashton has looked sharper and stronger in the last couple of games. He was out for a long time with injury and then took another knock when he eventually came back.
"More than ever now the England setup are covering everything, so I do not think any one club is being left out."