Hughton warns of Nolan threat

Norwich manager Chris Hughton thinks West Ham captain Kevin Nolan could pose as much of a threat as Andy Carroll.

 Kevin Nolan of West Ham United celebrates after s

The Canaries head to east London on the back of a morale-boosting goalless draw with title chasing Manchester City on Saturday, but only two points clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

West Ham are a place above in 15th on goal difference having hauled themselves out of the bottom three with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa, their second straight win.

The Irons will again be without star striker Carroll as he serves the second of a three-match suspension following a controversial red card which was upheld by the Football Association on appeal and also by an independent arbitration panel.

However, against Villa, club captain Nolan - just back from a recent ban himself - grabbed his second double in as many games to help drag Sam Allardyce's men up the table.

"It is about team performance and what West Ham have shown is that when they have looked for a goalscorer or a bit of inspiration, then Kevin Nolan has come up trumps for them, and that is the type of individual he is," said Hughton, who could have Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass back from a groin injury.

"When you look at team selection, there is always something that can hurt you, for somebody who does not play, it is an opportunity for someone else.

"You can only play against the team you are up against, and prepare yourself for what their starting XI might be, but also have ambitions to win the game yourself."

Hughton hopes his side will be lifted by their efforts against City in a game they could have actually won when creating the clearest chances late on.

"We are in a better place after the Man City game than before," said Hughton, whose position is again under scrutiny following just one win from 10 league matches.

"That is a result of not only a sprinted and resolute performance, but also that we finished the match strongly."

Hughton added: "West Ham is a big game, but because it is against one of the teams who are around us, and we are conscious about that.

"This part of the season will be full of these games, and not just for us.

"We have to show the qualities and spirits which we showed against Man City."

Hughton, 55, had two seasons as a player at West Ham when he left Tottenham in 1990, and so knows first hand what an expectant crowd the Boleyn Ground can be.

"It is one of their home games which they will look at as an opportunity for them to get three points," the former Republic of Ireland defender said.

"West Ham are in good form at the moment and we will certainly need to be resolute because whichever individuals are playing, they are a very competitive side and can get the ball quickly.

"We will have to conscious of that, but will also have to have a game plan ourselves, because it is a match which we have to certainly look to get something from."



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