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

Submit your West Ham player ratings

Latest West Ham news

Sunday, March 1, 2015
Calum Chambers of Arsenal replaces an injured Francis Coquelin  against Everton (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed midfielder Francis Coquelin broke his nose against Everton this afternoon.

Sunday, March 1, 2015
Glenn Murray of Crystal Palace (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Glenn Murray is once again enjoying his football at Crystal Palace after he came close to an exit earlier in the season, and Alan Pardew is the reason behind it.

Sunday, March 1, 2015
Rafael Benitez head coach of Napoli (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has admitted he doesn’t know where he will be manager next season.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew .  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admitted his teams’ defending was the reason they lost to Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime.

Sunday, March 1, 2015
David Gold and Sam Allardyce

West Ham co-owner David Gold believes Sam Allardyce couldn’t have done more than pick his best team against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

And while we’re at it, why don’t we sell all the Queen’s homes and move her and Phil into a two-bed in Grimsby?

Read more

The Australian actor has said he can empathise with his big screen alter-ego’s feelings about artificial intelligence.

Read more

There’s something beautiful about art inspiring science like this.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

West Ham Transfer News

Fiorentina's Micah Richards (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

On-loan Fiorentina right back Micah Richards has admitted he wants to come back to the Premier League but probably not with Manchester City.

Read more
Steven Fletcher of Sunderland is tackled by Winston Reid  (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

West Ham defender James Tomkins wants fellow centre back Winston Reid to follow in his footsteps by signing a new contract at Upton Park.

Read more
Sam Allardyce and Emmanuel Adebayor

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits he was gutted the Hammers missed out on signing Emmanuel Adebayor from Spurs on transfer deadline day.

Read more
Lassana Diarra in action for Lokomotiv Moscow (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Lassana Diarra has set his sights on a summer move to West Ham after he missed out on a January switch to Upton Park.

Read more
Lassana Diarra, Real Madrid

Administrative issues mean Lassana Diarra will not be adding West Ham to a CV which includes Real Madrid, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Read more