We suggested yesterday that maybe it was time for Kevin Nolan to have a rest tomorrow night, since he’s looked a little jaded in his last few games.
Kevin Nolan – Hughton defends player
And today Chris Hughton has come out and defended Nolan’s form and play, even on Saturday, and has reiterated that Kevin is an important player at Newcastle, which we don’t doubt.
This is what Chris told the Newcastle Journal this morning regarding Kevin:
“It wasn’t one of his better games, but the stats show he did as much running as he normally does,”
“His physical contribution was no different but as with every player, there are ups and downs in form.”
“Kevin Nolan is very capable of turning his next game into one of his better ones.” “ He’s been a big, big player for us.” “Apart from his actual contribution to the team has scored a lot of goals.”
“I have other options and you have to have that. But have I thought about resting Kevin? The answer is no because he’s a big player and valuable player.”
“We do have competition for places, he’s the same as everybody. Nicky Butt will be back soon, Joey Barton will be a bit longer and falls into that category of players I can pick from so we do have options – but resting Kevin (pictured above) hasn’t been a thought.”
“He is very much part of the squad and falls into the same selections process as everyone.”
Saying that Kevin covered as much ground as he usually does in a game tells us very little.
It’s how you play that’s important, not how far you run in game, so that’s a dicey statistic to use.
And we agree completely that Kevin is a vital player for Newcastle in the run-in and has been one of the successes at Newcastle this season.
All we are saying is he needs a rest, and suggest that tomorrow night would be a good time to do that.
Isn’t that why clubs have squads, so players can be rested when they look a little jaded or when they just lose some of their form?
Every player needs a rest these days, and gone are the days when a player plays every single game, week in and week out.