Nolan backs Allardyce
Published 12/05/2014 | 13:37
West Ham captain Kevin Nolan believes the club have a bright future under Sam Allardyce and claims speculation over the manager's future is "crazy".
The build-up to the Hammers' final Barclays Premier League game of the season, at Manchester City on Sunday, was overshadowed by stories suggesting Allardyce could be replaced this summer.
Nolan is unimpressed by such reports and believes Allardyce, who led West Ham to promotion two years ago, needs more time and better luck with injuries.
West Ham struggled in the first half of the campaign and were still in the relegation zone in February but pulled clear and eventually finished a respectable 13th.
Nolan, who also played under Allardyce at Bolton and Newcastle, said: "It's crazy, but that's the world of football these days.
"The pressure on people is enormous and that's something what the gaffer's got to put up with.
"I'll be very disappointed if he lost the job and all them boys in there (the dressing room) will be very disappointed for what's done this year and to make sure this club remains in this league again.
"Before he came, the stability in the club - we were in the Championship and it was in a real bad state.
"Not just on the outside, but inside, and that's what he does, he builds from the foundations up and he's starting to build something here. I can feel it and I think he can see it.
"He's got the vision and he's got to make us believe his vision.
"If we all get behind him - chairman, myself, players, the fans - together we will be in for a successful future for this club.
"It's been a difficult season for us, but we have come out brilliantly from it, with what we have to deal with.
"We know with this squad, if it had been fully fit for the whole season, we would have done better.
"Everyone finds it strange with all the hype around the gaffer and around us and of course it affects all the lads.
"It's been a fairly successful season, but one we know that if we had all those players available, we would have been brilliant. When we have a full squad we know what we can do."
West Ham were certainly hampered by an injury to £15million record signing Andy Carroll, who did not see any action until January.
Other key players such as Winston Reid, James Collins and James Tomkins have had spells on the sidelines.
Nolan is convinced that with those players fit, and some good signings this summer, Allardyce has the makings of a very good squad.
The 31-year-old said: "Hopefully Sam's going to keep his job and be able to do what he's done and recruit in the summer and bring people in to go on.
"With the first two years we had with Bolton it was tough and then it went on from there and we established ourselves in the top eight.
"And I firmly believe with Sam and the resources we have got here and the players we have got, he can do that again."
Allardyce has been the target for criticism from a element of the fanbase who are unhappy with his pragmatic style.
But Nolan said: "Our expectations are high too and we have all got it together.
"But you have to remember it's a minority of fans who do all the shouting and sometimes they shout loudest.
"His pride is definitely hurt and anyone who knows him should know that.
"At the end of the day he deserves more respect than what he's got and I'm disappointed there is all this talk.
"But that's the life of a football manager. He's got a thick skin and he's got a meeting with the chairman this week to discuss where we are going to go in the future and all the lads are hoping it is only paper talk and we can look forward to what's going to be a tough pre-season and be ready for another season in the Premier League."