West Ham: Nolan's repaid us, says Big Sam

By Rob Virtue on February 24, 2014 7:23 AM |


Manager Sam Allardyce has praised the recent performances of captain Kevin Nolan, after a 3-1 victory over Southampton at the Boleyn Ground saw them notch their fourth consecutive win.

Big Sam said Nolan, who has now scored five goals in four games, has recovered from 'one of the lowest points of his career' after dismissals against Liverpool and Fulham.

"I know his qualities and I like the fact that he's gone about his job and made sure he repays everybody at the club for what happened," said Allardyce.

"It was his lowest point of his career. It wasn't just the one sending off; it was two in a short period of time. The contribution is massive now and he's contributed in two of the three goals we scored today so long may it continue."

Allardyce added Nolan's recent performance were a big reason for the side's upturn in form.

"Playing off the front man is Kevin's great quality," he said.

• Carlton Cole is happy to feel wanted

"Everyone talks about him being with Andy (Carroll), but Andy hasn't been here for a while, and Kevin's still feeding off the front men with the balls going in the box, and our quality in the final third is getting so much better now. And because it's getting so much better is the reason why we're winning games of football now because we've always been good at defending anyway."

For the first time this season, the east Londoners had to come from behind to earn there victory.

Steven Davis' free kick found an unmarked Maya Yoshida, who simply nodded past a despairing Adrian, and end West Ham's potential record of a fifth consecutive clean sheet, something that hasn't been achieved since 1985.

However, with 21 minutes on the clock, West Ham equalised when Nolan's exquisite lobbed pass found Matt Jarvis who prodded past Artur Boruc with appeals from the Southampton contingent for offside being waved away by referee Mark Clattenburg.

Two minutes later, the Hammers took the lead when Carlton Cole's header from Stewart Downing's corner shattered the post with the former England international acting quickly to fire home the rebound and claim his 50th league goal.

With Southampton mounting the pressure in the second half, Nolan put the game to bed when his scissor kick from Cole's knock down flew past Boruc and seal a precious three points.

West Ham travel to Merseyside next week to face to four contenders, Everton, before they return to Upton Park to face Hull City.

Jack Pinnock

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