West Ham skipper plays down his effect on team spirit in run-up to play-off final

09:30 16 May 2012

Kevin Nolan, West Ham United

Kevin Nolan, West Ham United

EMPICS Sport

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan has had a positve effect on the Hammers squad this season, but he insists that too much is made of it

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan insists too much is made of his effect on team spirit, despite helping to turn the Hammers from a beleaguered, relegated shambles last season into a team that could book their place back in the Premier League on Saturday.

Only Blackpool stand between them and an immediate return to the big time, but Nolan is playing down his role in things off the field.

“People give me a lot more credit than I probably deserve in that respect,” said the 29-year-old midfielder, who has scored 13 goals in claret and blue this term.

“I am confident in what I do and in my ability and a lot of people don’t like that and some people do and it is up to them to go one way or the other.

“When people know me, they trust me and they know that they can talk to me and I will always give them 110 per cent and I think that helps with the lads here.

“They are all genuine and honest kids here and I think we have got a good foundation.”

Some thought it was a gamble when Nolan opted to leave Newcastle to come south and join up with manager Sam Allardyce for a third time, but the player certainly does not see it that way.

“I didn’t think it was a gamble, I was absolutely delighted with the move,” he said.

“Once I knew West Ham wanted me to come here and play, for me it was a no-brainer.

“I had been through a few little problems at Newcastle regarding my contract situation, so when West Ham were willing to show their faith in me and give me the terms I could agree on, I was delighted to come down and get full throttle into it.”

The former Bolton man admitted that it was difficult to get used to his new surroundings at first and that certainly affected his early season form.

“Being a northern lad it was quite tough when I first came down, being on my own without my wife and kids and not having the base of what I have always had with my Mum and Dad and my brother close by.

“I think I have adjusted quite well and I have got stronger as it has gone along and I am hoping to finish it off in style by getting back to the Premier League.”

He may not be keen to take the credit for the transformation at West Ham, but just how low was morale when he arrived?

“Going back to this time last year, it was quite surprising coming through the door because there are a lot of great lads here,” he said.

“You can see now the place is bubbly, it’s buzzing. Everyone wants to do it on Saturday because we get on really well with each other.”

A far cry from the despondency in the West Ham captain after relegation and the sacking of Avram Grant as manager.

“There is a low point when you get relegated and I did it with Newcastle,” he said.

“There are always people who have to leave and once they are gone, you have to restructure the club and that is what we have tried to do here.

“We have tried to get a morale going around the place which is going to help in the future and start building something which is not going to be just getting back into the Premier League and surviving.

“It is about getting back up and then slowly, but surely, getting this club back up amongst the top 10 and then top eight and try and achieve what we did with Bolton.”

The first step on that road comes at Wembley on Saturday, and with players like Nolan on their side, West Ham will certainly have the inspiration to succeed.

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - August 1

 

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 12:50
The man fell from the top floor penthouse above Barclays Bank in West Hampstead (Picture via Google StreetView)

A man who reportedly fell to his death from a penthouse in Hampstead while naked has been indentified as a Harley Street doctor who ran a Botox clinic.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:10
Police are advising members of the public not to approach John McClintock and contact officers immediately if they see him (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Police are appealing for the public’s help in tracing a 26-year-old man who absconded from a bail hostel in Richmond yesterday.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:17
The Isufi family, from left back, mum Meri, daughter Ramela, dad Erion, son Richard and youngest son Clive (front)

A vast gathering of friends and neighbours stood outside the Barking home of a family torn apart by a car crash to pay their tributes to them today.

Read more

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

TOP STORIES

Quizzes

Guess the managers quiz

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more
Which London club play their home games at this stadium...? (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground buff? Test your stadium knowledge with this brilliant quiz.

Read more

West Ham Transfer News

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news from London24

It’s been a busy day with plenty of transfer news. London24 has provided a handy round-up to help you sift through the important transfer news and rumours.

Read more
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news from London24

Stay up to date with all the latest transfer news and gossip with London24’s live blog.

Read more
Porto's Juan Quintero  (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

As we all know the world of football never sleeps and the transfer window is seemingly as busy as ever this week.

Read more
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news from London24

Missed any of today’s transfer news and gossip? Catch up with our handy round-up.

Read more
England Under-21 international Eric Dier (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Tottenham are reportedly close to sealing a £4million move for Sporting Lisbon centre back Eric Dier.

Read more