West Ham boss Allardyce hails goalscorer Nolan after Southampton win

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce was full of praise for goalscorer Kevin Nolan after their 3-1 win over Southampton.

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce was full of praise for goalscorer Kevin Nolan after their 3-1 win over Southampton.

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.

"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."

 
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