Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nolan Can Help Us Rediscover Success; Proof of Life after Survival - Hughton

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nolan Can Help Us Rediscover Success; Proof of Life after Survival - Hughton

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown

AS Newcastle United embark on a 10-game spell that will shape the future of the club, Chris Hughton has pointed to the example of Kevin Nolan as proof that success can be born out of survival.

In a decade at Bolton Wanderers, Nolan came through three Premier League relegation scraps unscathed.

Though the latter was as recent as just last year, two - in 2001-02 and 2002-03 - immediately gave rise to four seasons of unparalleled achievement at the Reebok Stadium, with a sixth-place finish and two Uefa Cup campaigns.

Nolan's new employers now stand perilously close to the drop zone themselves.

And, although the 26-year-old is suspended from Saturday's crucial trip to Hull City following his recent sending off against Everton, Hughton believes the mere presence at the club of a player who has experienced successful relegation battles in the past could prove vital to United's survival prospects in the future.

"It is important that we have a lot of players here who have been through this sort of thing before, if you look at Kevin Nolan at Bolton for example," Hughton said.

"He has been part of a team which went through a difficult period, came out the other side and went on to have a successful period. That is what we are looking to do.

"The hardest thing for us is that the names we want out there in this situation - Joey Barton, Habib Beye - haven't been able to play because of injury for long spells this season. They are not just important players, they are important individuals.

"But I think the biggest thing that gives us encouragement is the performances.

Even at Bolton, it wasn't a great performance but in my eyes it was still one which was good enough to get something from the game, particularly on balance of chances.

"They are the games we have to get something from and that was the most disappointing thing. …

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