West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan is determined to right the wrongs of a turbulent last six months, vowing to fire the Hammers to Barclays Premier League safety.
The experienced midfielder returned from suspension in Tuesday's 3-0 Capital One Cup semi-final second leg home defeat by Manchester City, a result on which he has no plans to dwell.
The midweek cup exit saw Nolan link up with Andy Carroll for the first time since May and the 32-year-old insists the duo will be working doubly hard on the training field to rekindle their prolific partnership.
With only two goals to his name this term, Nolan is desperate to get back to his clinical best in front of goal and is confident that in Carroll and Carlton Cole, he has the two perfect foils.
Kevin, first things first, I should think you're just glad to be back out there?
KN: "Yes, of course. It feels like a long time, obviously all through my own fault. It's just nice to get 90 minutes under my belt. It was always going to be a tough ask on Tuesday, especially with their quality.
"Sometimes you've just got to admire the quality of those two up front. Tuesday just showed what they are about, quality, top-end quality and world class players."
In spite of the result, it was much a better performance than at their place and probably deserved at least a goal on the night.
KN: "Listen, it's always easier when you're not at the Etihad! Although we've gone 3-0 down, I think we could have cut out two of them, quite simply, through [cutting out] mistakes of our own. But again, it's the quality they show. Having forced the mistake, the quality of finishing is why you pay those hundreds of millions of pounds for that top quality.
"But I though the lads battled on well and continued to try and do the right things. Hopefully we'll look and try to take a few positives out if it, but it's gone now. We've got one focus and that's just to stay in the Premier League. There are going to be so many battles now, from now until the end of the season. We're firmly up for it and we're looking forward to it. I'm relishing it and hoping to prove a lot of people wrong come May."
How much did you enjoy linking up with the big man again? It has been a while!
KN: "Yes, probably too long for his and my liking, but I think you've seen glimpses on Tuesday of the way he is. We came off on Tuesday and said we're going to have to start working on a bit of stuff on our own, after training, link-up play and things like that. Just to get that little chemistry back, the little bits and bobs and the sharpness around the box. Hopefully that's going to pay dividends in the coming weeks and I've just to make sure that I try to force my way back into the team.
"Once we're in there, we'll start doing what we normally do and that's bagging goals. That's what we want to do. Our record speaks for itself in that respect, so hopefully, we'll get our chance and when we do, we'll start taking them."
Has it given you a boost in confidence to have Andy back in and around the first-team squad?
KN: "Of course, it's always nice when you're going through a bit of a tough patch yourself that you've got someone who you work well with in tandem. I make no secret about it, it has been a tough time and obviously it has been a tough time for myself anyway for the last six months - with a return of only two goals, it probably should have been more, with a few great saves against me here and there and a few bad finishes when I've had the chances.
"But I'm hoping now to put it behind me, look forward and for the next four months, I'm hoping to put what has been a fairly average season behind me and make into a good one. One which I can look back on and say, 'at least I did perform and gave something to the team in the latter part of the season.'"
With slightly better fortune you could have scored a couple yourself on Tuesday?
KN: "That's the pleasing thing about it and having Coley [Carlton Cole] there too was a good thing. I think obviously Coley's now fit, the fittest he has been and he has been brilliant over the last couple of weeks. With him, being able to work off him is going to be great. So I'm really looking forward to having that focal point and with me being able to use my main attributes, hopefully I'll start scoring some goals."
A full week now to prepare for Chelsea and lots of hard work to be done…
KN: "Of course, there's lots of hard work to be done, from now until Chelsea, then onto the next game and until the end of the season. One thing we've got to do is stick together, keep that camaraderie going, keep the unity and togetherness. It's going to be a load of battles now and hopefully we'll enjoy it and win the war come the end of the season."