Not only did the Hammers claim three vital points on Saturday, but skipper Kevin Nolan also reached a major landmark with his 100th career goal.

The 30-year-old made the points safe for the Hammers with his fine finish on the turn with ten minutes remaining, as Sam Allardyce's men registered a 2-0 victory over struggling Wigan Athletic.

West Ham moved back into the top half of the Barclays Premier League with the triumph, and Nolan was thrilled with the twin delight of breaching the 40-point barrier and reaching his personal milestone.

"I'm absolutely delighted," he beamed. "To get to 42 points and to reach 100 goals too was nice.

"I was able to celebrate it and dedicate it to the memory of two people who were close to my family - my friend Peter and my auntie who have passed away in the last couple of weeks.

"100 goals from anyone is a good turnout from anyone's career so I'm really delighted to get there. Hopefully I'm not finished yet, I'm looking for 101 now and that's the main thing. It won't hit me for a few days, but I'll be able to look back, really enjoy it and savour the moment."

Nolan's goal came following an acrobatic assist from Andy Carroll and the Geordie has proved a fruitful playing partner for Nolan both at the Boleyn Ground and from their time together at Newcastle United.

He continued: "We have combined for quite a few goals - he keeps reminding me and saying that it's never the other way around! The big man's been fantastic since he's come back into the team.

"He's looking really sharp and fit - he had another couple of good chances on Saturday. We seem to get on really well on and off the pitch, we just click and that's helped us with our games.

"You only have to look at how many games we've played and how many goals we've scored to see that. We feel we can score against anyone and cause anyone problems. I'm delighted that he's here and I'm hoping he will be for as long as I'm here."

Kevin Nolan

The Hammers celebrate Kevin Nolan's late goal against Wigan

Having passed the 40-point mark that boss Allardyce believes will secure Premier League football for another season, Nolan is looking forward to attempting to nail down the Hammers' position in the top ten over the final four matches of the campaign.

He added: "We can enjoy it but you have to remember we still have games in the Premier League to play. We're five unbeaten and we want to carry that on until the end of the season.

"When we looked at each other as a squad in the pre-season, we thought we would be very worthy of being in and around that top ten.

"We're doing fantastically well - there was a little blip in the middle, but that was only due to injuries and the fact that we were still growing as a team.

"Although we've got a lot of experienced individuals, you still have to grow as a team and that's what we've been doing. We've worked really hard to make sure we can do that, we want to stay where we are now because that would be a very good start to life back in the Premier League."

Of Saturday's success, Nolan felt the Hammers had to show a grittier side to their game to overcome the challenge of Wigan.

He explained: "We're resilient and that's the mark of a good team. You've got to be resilient sometimes. When Chelsea won the league and they had all those points, I remember playing against them and they were like robots.

"If you were on top of them they were resilient and wouldn't give you the space. That's what we've got to learn - we can't be brilliant every week and all on top of our game, so when we're not and when it's not going quite right for us we've got to be dogged and determined.

"There's not a lot of things more satisfying than walking off that pitch with no goals conceded. Another clean sheet is brilliant, the back four were fantastic with us in front working our socks off.

"That's the quality you need to be successful in the Premier League because you're going to get those days when you can go and play well, like we did on Wednesday night. Against Wigan, we were dogged and determined and got two fantastic goals. The second one settled us down and I thought we saw the game out really well."

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