Kevin Nolan: It feels incredible to be back
Kevin Nolan wore the broadest of smiles as he returned to Rush Green this week to take up the role of first team coach at West Ham United.
The 37-year-old spent five years with the Hammers as a player, leading them to promotion in 2012 and playing a central role as they established themselves back in the top flight.
After leaving the Club at the start of the 2015/16 campaign, he gained managerial experience with Leyton Orient and Notts County, and now heads back to east London determined to help David Moyes and the team rise up the Premier League table.
“It feels incredible to be back,” he said. “I’m delighted, proud and just really looking forward to the rest of the season.
“I can’t wait to get stuck into it. The gaffer has been absolutely fantastic, getting me right involved straight away - 24 hours later it’s all hands to the deck and let’s look forward hopefully to what’s going to be a good weekend.”
As captain, Nolan was called upon to use his leadership skills to help the squad pull through a similar situation to the one they currently face, and he is fully confident that the current crop will do so again.
Nolan joins Moyes’ coaching staff alongside fellow first team coach Paul Nevin, and after seeing Jarrod Bowen, Tomas Soucek and Darren Randolph add to their options over January, Nolan is relishing the prospect of working with the squad.
“I’ve seen enough from the lads in training [to know they can turn the situation around],” he added. “They know the task ahead, and we know the task ahead.
“This has been the first full week where the gaffer has been able to have a real input in what he wants to show, so I’m hoping we’ll see some good stuff and positive stuff at the weekend.
“We’ve all been in these situations before – we all know what’s needed and we’re very confident that we can get there come the end of the season.”