Captain's Blog

Hello to all our supporters.

It was disappointing to go out of the FA Cup at Manchester United this week but, I think you will agree, we were really unlucky to come away from Old Trafford with nothing.

I think our performance was there to see and with a few young lads coming in - Jordan Spence, Dan Potts and young Elliot Lee making his senior bow - we did terrific and we were disappointed to come away with nothing to show for it.

I was on the bench on Wednesday, so my skipper duties fell to Reidy and I thought he did a terrific job.

Well I say that, but when I came on in the second half, normally whoever else has been captain, like Nobes, he gives me the armband back, but not Reidy. I came on and it was clear he was keeping the armband on for the whole match!

Seriously, he did a great job and I am so pleased for him. He wasn't fazed by it all and it is well deserved as Reidy has had a fantastic season for us and has been a main part of our success this campaign. I think if it was my first time being captain, I wouldn't have given it back either!

But Reidy, I want my armband back for this weekend!

We move on and focus on our ultimate goal and that is consolidating our Premier League status and pushing on now for that top-half finish.

I firmly believe with new players like Joe Cole and Marouane Chamakh joining us recently and maybe more before the transfer window shuts, together with the lads coming back from injury, we have the quality and spirit in this squad to push on.

Mo Diame, Ricardo Vaz Te and Jack Collison have all returned in recent weeks and we have Andy Carroll and hopefully Ginge [James Collins] is not going to be too bad, plus George McCartney still to get back, all which will be good as we look to finish as high as we can.

It is three years since our owners, Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, took over with Vice-Chairman Karren Brady.

I think our supporters can see what they have done since arriving at the club - putting everything in to strengthen the club in all areas so that it didn't falter. Now, they are striving to get it to where we know this great club belongs.

Not only have they done that for the here and now, but they are doing it in the right way and in a way that stabilises the club for the future.

Since I arrived they have been great, they have supported the gaffer massively in the transfer market and hopefully they are seeing some of the rewards of that support, by our performances on the pitch. Firstly it is about making sure we stay in the top league and then they are also looking to the future to get our club back to playing in Europe again and making sure we can attract the best players possible. So happy three year anniversary to them!

I would also like to say on behalf of all the lads, we hope Chairman Mr Gold is continuing to recover well from his recent illness. We were all very concerned when we heard he was ill and in hospital, but our thoughts are with him and we look forward to seeing him around the place soon.

At our match on Saturday against Queens Park Rangers, our club will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day as part of the fantastic work it does in the community.

Candles will be lit and we will be remembering all of those who have been affected in a terrible way simply for being part of a particular race or religion. It goes without saying that we must continue to support the initiatives to make sure we stamp out all forms of racism and I am sure you will join us in that goal.

We play QPR and will welcome a few old faces, including our former goalkeeper Greeny. I think Rob has been unlucky not to have got more of a chance since he moved. He's a top lad and I still speak to him all the time. He's a good mate so it will be good to catch up with him tomorrow.

We will be looking to get three points, even though it will be a tough London derby, so your support tomorrow will be as important as ever as we look to get a victory on our home patch with yet another full stadium behind us.

I hope that you are all not too affected by the snow and just make sure, if you are out and about, to be careful in these conditions.

I want to just finish by saying happy birthday to my little boy, Sonny, who turned three-years-old last Sunday. He had a party arranged with all our family but I couldn't make it as we were training that day ahead of the mid-week match against Manchester United. I know he had a good time, though, as I had every detail relayed back to me by my six-year-old daughter Jasmine!

It was a shame I missed out on seeing him celebrating. There were nearly 30 kids at his party, so I think my missus Hayley will be hoping that we don't have a mid-week game again for his next birthday, so I can share some of the load!

As ever, we appreciate your fantastic support and we will be doing all we can to get the three points.

Come on you irons!

Kevin Nolan