Kev's closing in on return

West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan has earmarked the Barclays Premier League visit of Queens Park Rangers for a possible return to action, following a prolonged spell on the sidelines with a fractured shoulder.

The Hammers' No4 is due to resume training at the end of this week and could yet figure for the Development Squad against Sunderland at the Boleyn Ground on Monday evening. 

Frustrating though his lay-off has been, Nolan has delighted in watching his team-mates impress and is now desperate to play his part in the coming weeks.   

"The lads have done fantastically well," he told West Ham TV. "It's been really tough for me, because I rarely have to sit out, but great watching the lads do so well and everyone at the training ground's upbeat. But I'm in and around the boys now, back training with them and hoping to be back in the next week or so. I'm really looking forward to getting in the mix and trying to get my place back.

"The lads have been great over the last couple of games and the system the manager's chosen, with the way's he wanted us to play, has really suited the boys. Fingers crossed we can continue it over the coming months and if we can get through Christmas in and around that top ten,  then we can look to push on."  

Above all, the 32-year-old hailed an outstanding summer of recruitment, with West Ham's new boys taking the Premier League in their stride. Their obvious football quality aside, the new additions are prepared to put in the hard yards too, with Nolan adamant that they took little time to buy into the Club's philosophy.  

"The new boys have all settled in really well, which is massive and has been the key to the success. They've come in with the ethos that I try to instil in everyone and every team that I've captained. The boys have been brilliant since they've come in and you're seeing now how much more quality West Ham have got and the calibre of squad we've been able to assemble in the summer." 

Those exciting signings will, no doubt, play a pivotal part in the Club's immediate future, one in which the former Olympic Stadium will figure prominently. Following Tuesday's Club London launch and the opening of a New Stadium Reservation Centre in Stratford, Nolan continues to be wowed by all that he hears and sees of the Hammers' future home and plans to ensure that the football matches the surroundings.           

He continued: "
It just looks unbelievable, the standard of everything that's going to be on offer for fans and for us players. Everything about it is going to be top notch and it gives you that little bit extra motivation to hopefully still be around in 2016.

"First and foremost, we have to make sure that we keep doing as we are and get this Club back to where we feel we belong and that's in and around the top ten and pushing upwards. It's a steady process of building year upon year and the quality of the squad this season is much higher than it has been in previous seasons.

"You've got to realise that when players see that Stadium, they're going to want to play for West Ham. So it only bodes well for the future."

And while Nolan anticipates rapid progress on the pitch, he expects the supporter experience at the new Stadium to be an exceptional one too.

"When you see all the visuals, if that all comes off, it's going to be some place and a place, where as a supporter, you get everything you need. Imagine walking up that walkway to the game every week, with all the claret and blue everywhere, the 'Come on you Irons'.  It has taken us into the 21st century and that's what this Club needed. It will take us to the next level. It will be fantastic."