Nolan A Leader In Generating Great Team Spirit On Tyneside


Kevin Nolan is one of the leaders at Newcastle this season, and he has talked today about the team spirit in the squad, which has had a major role in the  Newcastle success so far this season.

Kevin Nolan – responsible for much improved team spirit

Kevin has talked a lot about when he first came to Newcastle 13 months ago, and how the team spirit existing then at the club was nowhere near what it had been at Bolton Wanderers.

It appears that over the summer, Kevin and other players such as Alan Smith, Steve Harper, Steven Taylor and others got together and started to work on bringing the lads closer together, and it’s worked out just fine.

Manager Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood also have to be given credit for the enhanced team spirit the lads have shown this season.

Kevin talked today about the team spirit:

“It’s obviously a different kettle of fish because this is the Championship and that was the Premier League but we’ve probably got better characters, better team spirit, better togetherness than this club has had for a few years now.”

“I think that’s what you see,” “When we’re not playing well, when the chips are down, we stick together and grind out results. We’ve managed to do that and we’re where we want to be.”

“We were absolutely delighted to go top of the league again on Saturday and it meant we could have a nice flight home afterwards to think about the game, the wrongs we did, and hopefully put them right against Coventry.”

“We’re not worried about our away form, I’m certainly not. There’s a lot of people outside the club making issues about it, but if we can continue to do what we’re doing at home we know we can grind results out, like we did against a very good Swansea side.”

“If we can get results like that from now until the end of the season, we know it will change for us.”

“We’re absolutely delighted to be where we are. We know it’s not finished, we know we’ve got 16 games still to play, but we’re going to fight for every point and hopefully come the last day of the season, we’ll be sitting pretty at the top.”

“We’re not worried about anyone else around us, we’re just concerned with what we do. At the end of the day we’re here to do a job and hopefully we’re doing it the right way.”

Given the choice between the lads winning by grinding out results and not being successful – and playing an attacking style of football – we’ll take being successful any day.

There’s always the possibility that Newcastle can start to attack more, given they get a good string of results and the confidence rises.

And of course we were outplayed at Swansea but still came away with a point, and it was a valuable point too.

Nolan continued:

“We absolutely robbed the point at Swansea to be fair,” “We proved we’ve got a bit of grit and a bit of determination. When it’s not going our way we’ve got to stick at it. The only thing Swansea didn’t do is finish it off and they were punished for it.”

“People say if you want to win promotion you’ve got to grind out results and that’s what we’ve done.”

Whether we play well tonight or not the main thing is to get all 3 points.

If we are indeed to be promoted this season, we have to be able to beat teams like Coventry,  currently in 11th place, and Preston, currently in 14th place, at home.



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6 comments so far

  • Archie Mag

    Feb 17, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #1

    Nolan talks the talk and its obvious hes important for us in the locker room. I reckon he will do a job for us in some capacity next season when (or if) we go back up.

    But hes burnt himself out, hes been a shadow of his early form for well over a month now, Chris needs to grow a set and let him sit a few out, we’ve got Smudger and Guthrie who are more than capable of keeping the midfield ship steady in his temporary absense.

    Maybe Chris feels his vocal influence makes it worth having him out there even though hes not been at his best?

    But please, oh please, don’t bring Butt back in!! A legend in his own right but he’s finished.

    Likely team for the night:-

    ———————Harps——————
    Simpson–Williamson–Colo–Van Arn
    Routledge–Smudger–Guthrie–Jonas
    —————–Best—Carroll———–

    Guess i’d be happy with that, more than capable of picking up the 3pts.

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  • Sav

    Feb 17, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #2

    Having trouble making comments on your new style page, Ed. Whasssup?

    Hate the way the papers twist things around. I think most fans are happy, even grateful for with Nolan’s contribution this season. But most think the guy’s performances of late have been pretty poor. The most obvious thing to do is rest him. Only a fool is ‘calling for his head’ and all that nonesense. Just calling on Hughton t0 give Nolan a breather to recharge the batteries. On Saturday, especially, he looked well off the pace, his touch was terrible, he contributed little except to concede possession to the opposition repeatedly. Don’t shoot him. Rest him.
    Which brings me to my second beef – that somehow there is a choice between winning ugly and playing good football. Do they really think we want to see scissors kicks and backflips all afternoon? You’d think good football was not a good way to win football matches. We aren’t talking about a contrast in styles here. Its not as if we bombarded their box with long balls and crosses all match. Lets face facts – we were completely outplayed and if Swansea had had a decent striker, we’d have been mullered on Saturday lunchtime. No doubt about it.
    So please ask Chris Hughton not to soft soap the fans or make us out to be a pack of baying fools.
    Some of us are old enough to know good football when we see it. And hats off to Swansea for providing what there was on Saturday.

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  • pdiddy

    Feb 17, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #3

    Fact is we can’t play good football!
    we have no creativity, no one who can put there foot on the ball and make the team click.
    Last weeks result against Cardif for me was fluke, we got two very early goals which deflated Cardiff and the game dictated itself.
    Nolan, Hughton, Harper and Smith can say what they want about harmony and team spirit but the fact is we will strugle against any decent footballling side and we wont survive in the premiership with this squad!

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  • will die for the toon army

    Feb 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #4

    I agree with the team Archie Mag but for P.diddy we will think abt a decent team when we play it think abt promotion only.

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  • Lynxie

    Feb 17, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #5

    Anyone who has watched NUFC this season can see from miles away that our midfield is easy to play through. When your players can not hold on to the ball with the minimum of skill, strength, and spacial awareness, and have it taken off thier foot easily (and in many cases without a tackle), you are in big trouble. Even ‘poor’ teams are allowed to play thier football at ease because our midfield are so slow and lethargic. (Doncaster at home anyone?)
    Surely there are some young lads in the reserves who MUST be able to put pressure on those in the first team? And surely (God please) Hughton must start realising that big name players are only big names, they are not big players. Lets hope tonight, we give Coventry what they deserve, and football them all the way back down the A1. If these lot are allowed to take the game to us tonight, I fear that we will blow all of the good work so far. So that means getting stuck in, and PASSING THE BALL.

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  • Ericles

    Feb 17, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #6

    In skilful footballing terms we have a problem in midfield. Simple. Nolan does need a rest but please do not put Butt in his place. Try Lovenkrands alongside Smith? Keep Carroll up front and let us persist with Best for a bit?

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