Nolan: We Just Need That Bit of Luck and Hopefully It'll Turn
Thursday, 13th Dec 2018 17:29
Midfielder Jon Nolan has defiantly echoed the views of boss Paul Lambert and his team-mates that Town can see off the very real threat of relegation to League One in the current campaign.
The 26-year-old, signed by ex-manager Paul Hurst to follow him from Shrewsbury in the summer, returned to first team action for the first time under Lambert in last week’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke – but the Blues’ display at the Britannia Stadium is one of the reasons for his belief that the season can still have a positive outcome.
Huyton-born Nolan, who launched his career with local club Everton, said: “Considering their resources, all Premier League players, we did well against them.
“We did the analysis the day after the game and we saw how well we matched them. It was just having that bit of luck, putting the ball in the back of the net, that was lacking.
“They have one of the strongest squads in the Championship and were one of the favourites to go up this season. They’re a Premiership side in all but name but we need a little bit more.
“The manager’s said that putting the ball in the back of the net is the hardest thing but I think once that clicks there will be no stopping us.”
There is no atmosphere of doom and gloom around the training ground, insisted Nolan, who added: “Every day when we’re in training it’s unbelievable around the place. You wouldn’t think we’re bottom of the league. We just need that bit of luck and hopefully it’ll turn for us.”
Town remain eight points adrift of safety but, when asked if the situation was getting to him, the Scouser replied: “Well, it’s not nice, is it? But when you’re in and around the club you wouldn’t think we’re where we are because the spirit among the lads is so high. We just need to start winning games asap.”
Nolan earned his first-team place after impressing in training following a spell on the sidelines with injury. But he admitted: “I was surprised, but I had a little chat with the gaffer a few days beforehand so maybe not too surprised.
“I thought I did alright and hopefully I’ll get a run of games now. I was happy with the performance, both individually and collectively as a team.
“I thought we played well. When you’re not in the side you’ve got to train well, which all the lads are doing, and once you get that chance you’ve got to take it.”
Nolan was the ‘old man’ of an otherwise youthful midfield at Stoke, where he lined up alongside teenagers Flynn Downes and Jack Lankester, both of whom have made a big impression on him since he arrived at Portman Road in the summer.
He said: “There are some unbelievable players here, Flynn and Jack especially. They are going to have unbelievable careers when you consider how young they are and playing in the Championship week in, week out. It can only be good for the club.
“They are right up there with some of the young lads I saw come through when I was at Everton.
“I only give them the ball because they want the ball. In fact, they demand it. Flynn has probably been our most consistent player this season and is doing really well.
“He’s 19 and Jack is only 18, which is incredible when you see how they perform with a maturity that suggests they are a lot older.”
Rarely has a January transfer window been anticipated so keenly by Town fans, the recruitment of new players being uppermost in boss Lambert’s thinking as he sticks to his belief that a rescue mission can still be achieved over the remainder of the season.
Nolan added: “We do need a bit of help and whatever the gaffer brings in I am sure it will improve us, which is the main thing. It will add to the competition for places, which is good for any club.”
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