West Ham news

Nolan: These have been difficult days

January 21, 2014
By Kevin Palmer

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan has said the last few weeks have been some of the toughest of his career after he was sent off twice in a month and missed key games in the Hammers' battle to avoid relegation.

Mark Clattenburg shows Kevin Nolan his second red card in a matter of weeks.
GettyImagesNolan was sent off twice in a month.

Red cards at Liverpool and Fulham contributed to damaging defeats, and manager Sam Allardyce spoke of his exasperation at Nolan's conduct.

The midfielder told the Evening Standard: "The last few weeks have been among the most difficult of my career -- certainly on a par with when I joined Newcastle and they got relegated.

"That was a tough time, but I came through it and when I go back up there now they treat me well. I get respect because they know what I'm about -- I'm a fighter.

"What's happened to me over the last month was very out of character. I've never been through anything like that before, but I have now and I'm hoping to prove, by the end of the season, that I've come through it.

"I've been pretty low, but thankfully I had my family and friends. Without them, you don't know how dark it could have got. I hope I can repay the faith of people."

Nolan said he had apologised to his teammates for the red cards, which came about because of a reckless challenge on Jordan Henderson and a moment of indiscipline at Craven Cottage.

"I know what I did was wrong," he said. "I thought it was quite a harsh sending-off at Fulham but, at the end of the day, I put myself in that situation. That disappointed me most. It was my fault, there was no one else to blame. I've let people down.

"I've apologised to all the lads and they've said: ‘We all make mistakes, let's just forget about it and get on with it.' It was nice to know I had the full support of all those boys.

"When it starts going a bit wrong, that's the real test of a dressing room. Then you can get people talking behind backs -- but there's never been anything like that here. We're very much in it together."

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