Big Sam hails Kevin Nolan turnaround after star turn against Southampton

19:15 22 February 2014

West Ham United

West Ham United's Kevin Nolan salutes the fans as he is substituted during the win over Southampton. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

PA Wire

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce heaped praise on Kevin Nolan for the way he has recovered from the “lowest point of his career” to help propel the east Londoners away from relegation danger.

The 31-year-old’s captaincy was reviewed at the start of the year after he was sent off for kicking Fernando Amorebieta in the 2-1 defeat at Fulham.

It was Nolan’s second red card in less than four weeks after lunging at Jordan Henderson against Liverpool, leading Allardyce to say “there’s something wrong with his mentality at the minute”.

The Hammers skipper has certainly made amends since then, netting five goals in as many league games since returning from suspension.

The latest came in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat of Southampton, in which he also provided an assist and earned Allardyce’s praise as the Hammers moved to tenth.

“I can believe the turnaround because I know his qualities,” he said of Nolan, given a standing ovation when substituted against Saints.

“What I like about it is that he has gone about his job and made sure he repays everybody at the club for what happened.

“It was the lowest point of his career, I think, because it was not just one sending off but two in a short period of time.

“The contribution now is massive and it is not just the goals, but the pass he made for the first goal - a top quality pass at this level, which split open a very resilient Southampton defence. Long may it continue.

“Feeding off the front man is Kevin’s great quality. Everybody talks about being with Andy Carroll, but he hasn’t been there for a while and Kevin is still feeding off the front men and the balls in the box.

“Our quality in the final third is getting so much stronger now and that is why we are winning games of football because we’ve always been good at defending.”

Nolan has been key in West Ham’s revival, with their 100 per cent record in February taking them from the relegation zone to the relatively dizzy heights of the top half.

The latest win came courtesy of strikes from Matt Jarvis, Carlton Cole and Nolan, as the Hammers turned the match on its head following Maya Yoshida’s early header.

“It has been a fantastic run for us,” Allardyce said.

“The four wins on the trot from where we were is an outstanding performance by the players.

“I thank them for their efforts and the quality they are showing at the moment.

“In the Premier League it is all about the resilient qualities in defence and you have to score a goal, which today contributed massively in us winning this game.

“The three goals we scored were excellent and that got us back after going 1-0 down so early on. Credit to all the players.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest West Ham news

Sunday, February 7, 2016
Dimitri Payet of West Ham (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he loves the physical side of the game, but doesn’t approve of the type of ‘scissor’ challenges that saw Victor Wanyama given a straight red-card on Saturday evening.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic felt his side did enough at St Mary’s on Saturday evening to get something from the contest.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (credit: Mike Egerton)

The latest headlines from around the web featuring London’s top teams.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic (right) and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp o

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has undergone a successful operation to remove his appendix, Press Association Sport understands.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham are a club littered with legends and heroes.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport