Hammers skipper: I will bounce back!


- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Nolan is confident his form will return

Another game, another blank for West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan as the Hammers slipped to a surprise 3-1 defeat at Norwich City.

To be fair, the former Bolton and Newcastle man did go close at Carrow Road, but it is now 11 games since he scored on the opening day of the season against Cardiff City and that must surely be worrying for the 31-year-old.

Not a bit of it.

“I’m not worried because I had two chances against Norwich and I put them both on target,” said Nolan, who has made a career out of scoring goals from midfield.

“It didn’t work out against Norwich, but I know that I will come again. I went through a bit of a spell last year when I didn’t score for six, seven or eight games.

“But at this moment in time, I know for a fact that I am getting chances and I know that sooner or later they are going to start going in again.”

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Actually, Nolan had a barren spell of 13 games last season, but a hat-trick on the last day against Reading swelled his tally to double figures for the season.

The confident Nolan is convinced that he will be able to bounce back once again this time round, though he admitted that he would have more chance playing alongside a main striker – preferably Andy Carroll.

“I have played behind a striker all my life so of course I would prefer to be doing that,” said Nolan. “But at the end of the day I think that we have been playing well.

“The keepers have been making fantastic saves or I haven’t put it on target.

“The one against Aston Villa I should probably have done better,” he conceded.

“I should have probably scored it or at least put it on target, but I didn’t.

“Against Norwich I have had a couple of chances and done the right thing and it just hasn’t gone right for me.

He may not be hitting the back of the net, but it is still clear that Nolan is still the heart of this team and he was quick to defend Jussi Jaaskelainen after his mistake at Norwich.

“He has been so fantastic for us since he came, but he has made an error and that is the be all and end all,” said Nolan. “It puts you on the back foot and it is disappointing to lose, but we have got a great squad and I am really pleased to captain the squad.

“We need to stick together which I think we will and I firmly believe that we will get back up to where we feel we belong which is in the middle tier of the league.”

To do that, Nolan knows what they have to start doing, with him at the helm of things.

“We need to score goals – simple as,” summed up the skipper. “We have six clean sheets in 11 games, but the be all and end all is scoring goals.

“This time last year I had five goals, we had scored six goals off set-pieces, this time it is just one. We have just got to get better all round on the attacking side”.