Kevin Nolan is delighted to have the opportunity to make it a decade of being captain for Sam Allardyce after the West Ham United manager signed a new contract with the Club.
Nolan began his career playing for Big Sam at Bolton Wanderers and after the pair were reunited at the Boleyn Ground two years ago, the West Ham No4 has become an intrinsic part of the Hammers' progress under Allardyce. The possibility of now working under his long-standing mentor for several more years fills Nolan with obvious excitement and after recently scoring his 100th career goal against Wigan Athletic, he is targeting further milestones during that period.
WATCH BIG SAM TALK ABOUT HIS NEW CONTRACT ON WEST HAM TV HERE
"I'm delighted that he's signed," Nolan said. "He has deserved it and it puts everything to bed. It's about him now going away and drawing up what he wants for next season. If you want this club to move forward I don't think there is a better man to have at the helm.
"I've worked under him at Bolton and I know what he's about. Not just on the pitch but behind the scenes. It's fantastic news for him and his family and fantastic news for us lads. I just hope that we can get a few new faces that will help us kick on again next season.
"I've just enjoyed working with him and I have a great working relationship with him. I've been his skipper for more than eight years in total and I've just got that relationship where he gives me all the responsibility in the dressing room.
"I'm just delighted to be able to work with him in the next few years that he's here. I'm delighted that I'm going to be able to work under him and keep this club moving forward because I certainly believe we've got the right personnel and a core squad to add to in the summer."
Nolan's first step is to make sure that West Ham achieve the formidable feat of finishing in the top ten following their return to the Barclays Premier League last summer. To guarantee that, the Hammers will need to overcome already-relegated Reading in the season finale at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday; a day that has been designated 'Show Your Colours Day' by the Club.
"Although finishing in the top ten is an added incentive to beat Reading, it's all about ourselves and we've all been like that this year. We are tenth which is good and the ball is in our court which we always wanted. We've been indifferent away from home this season and our main points have come from home so we're expecting a win.
"Finishing in the top ten would be a massive achievement and you've got to look at it as a whole spectrum and we've been brilliant this year. Over the season we've been good enough to be in that top ten. We've been very unlucky at home and have only lost to four sides - Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and Arsenal.
"It's been a great season at home for us but we've got to continue it on Sunday. We were favourites at the beginning of the season to go down after getting promoted by the Play-Offs but we've done the job that we knew we could do and got into a position that we thought we should be at the end of the season and that's in the top ten."
If a victory against the Royals can indeed be secured, then 'Nobby' believes it will provide a great selling point to potential new arrivals that Big Sam and the Board target over the summer months. With the unwavering financial support of Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold to assist that search, Nolan is predicting bright times at the Boleyn Ground next season.
"I think we're good enough to be in the top ten and good enough to persuade the Chairmen, who have been fantastic, that we're good enough to push for it again next season. It's short steps though and top ten would be a very good finish for us this year and it's what we'll be aiming for again next year so we've got to make sure we bring in the players that will help us achieve that."
The full squad were back in first thing on Monday morning as they sought to right the wrongs of Sunday's defeat at Everton. Nolan believes that although the result was disappointing, a win against the Royals will leave everyone with a sweet taste in their mouth as they head off for their summer breaks.
"It was disappointing to lose to Everton to be honest. It was probably one of our worst performances in the last eight to ten weeks. Sometimes you get those days and we've got to pick ourselves us and look forward to Reading and make sure we get three points at home.
"We might have got caught up in the emotion of everything that had gone on with Everton and it was just one of those things. We weren't good enough and they deserved to win. We did have some chances but their keeper pulled off some great saves.
"Jussi has pulled off some great saves for us and on another day we could have been going in at 1-1 but it wasn't to be and we were very disappointed."