Since Kevin Nolan joined West Ham United in summer 2011, the captain has scored 25 goals in 103 appearances.

Of those 25 goals, 19 have been scored in Hammers victories, four in draws and just two in losing causes. Five times, Nolan has scored the only goal in a 1-0 win, while he has netted the winning goal on no fewer than ten occasions.

On Saturday, the No4 was at it again, putting West Ham 3-2 up in their Barclays Premier League meeting with West Bromwich Albion at the Boleyn Ground.

In short, captain Nolan scores important goals, and he is aiming to net yet another vital one at Fulham on New Year's Day.

"If I score five goals than that is great if it gets us the points we need," said the captain, "but it is not about scoring goals and reaching ten goals a season if they don't mean anything to the team.

"On Saturday my goal meant something because it got us a vital point, though it should have been three.

"In my eyes I have to start chipping in with the important goals."

Nolan's goal at the weekend came from a knockdown from centre forward Modibo Maiga, whose own aerial prowess and rising confidence have also seen him score two important goals in recent weeks - the winner in the Capital One Cup quarter-final at Tottenham Hotspur and an equaliser against the Baggies.

The captain believes the improved form of Maiga and Carlton Cole, along with the imminent return of Andy Carroll, should see all four creating and scoring more goals in the future.

There is no doubt about it I have lived off strikers all my career. I have played in some different positions this year and been asked to do a few different tasks but Modibo has come on and been fantastic, I thought Coley was fantastic last week.

"There is no doubt about it I have lived off strikers all my career," said Nolan. "I have played in some different positions this year and been asked to do a few different tasks but Modibo has come on and been fantastic, and I thought Coley was fantastic last week.

"I have managed to start getting chances and I am delighted with that. When you look back at the season and we have looked at the reviews, I have had chances, there is no doubt about it and my own personal performances have not been what I expected of myself.

"It hasn't happened and you have to get on with it, keep plugging away because I know the chances will keep coming. I have to make sure that they start hitting the back of the net.

"Regarding Andy, there is no doubt about it that when we are together we score a lot of goals and cause a lot of problems. The big man will hopefully be back within the month and we will be seeing that, but we have got a bit of time before that can start happening and I am just glad that I could play off Modibo and Coley on Saturday."

Ahead of a busy January that will see West Ham play four Barclays Premier League matches, contest a Capital One Cup semi-final with Manchester City and embark on their FA Cup quest at Nottingham Forest, Nolan also had words of support for manager Sam Allardyce.

Having worked with Big Sam at Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and for the past two-and-a-half seasons at West Ham, nobody knows better what the Hammers manager brings to the table.

"I don't think there is anyone better in the industry than Sam. There is no-one better qualified in doing what he does. If any team in the bottom six now was without a manager and Sam was available, who would they pick? I don't have to say that because the Chairmen have backed him."