West Ham midfielder Kevin Nolan has admitted his surprise of talk linking manager Sam Allardyce with the sack this week, as reported by Sky Sports.

The Hammers skipper will lead the Irons out at the Etihad today where a win could gift Liverpool the Premier League title.

Nolan is West Ham’s top scorer this season and has played under Allardyce at Bolton, Newcastle and now the East Enders, with their relationship clear for all to see.

The experienced midfield man claims the whole squad is behind Allardyce and that they were shocked that he could be leaving after today’s game.

“It shocked a lot of the boys. We found it all quite surprising to be honest and we are still quite shocked that people can write that stuff,” Nolan said.

“If you ask anyone in that dressing room, the gaffer has got the full backing of every one of us. It’s a sad occasion when we are talking about him getting sacked after the magnificent job he has done over the last three seasons and I’ve been a part of that with him.

“I’ve seen the difference he’s made from when he first walked in – the state of the club from then to what it is now – I’m sure the owners would recognise the magnificent job he’s done.’