Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton has tipped Kevin Nolan to fire his side to Premier League survival next season, following their Championship title-winning showing last term.
Nolan joined the St James' Park outfit from Bolton Wanderers in January 2009 and, although he couldn't help the Magpies keep their top-flight status, he played a major role in helping them return at the first attempt and Hughton is backing him to impress this time around
Speaking to Newcastle Chronicle, Hughton said:"He's a big player for us.
"He was a big part of what we achieved last season. All the players are the same – there's a genuine excitement to be back in the Premier League.
"We'll need him to be a big player again. It was unfair on Kevin the last time round.
"He came from Bolton and he'd just had a small ankle operation. He wasn't able to play at the level he's capable of playing at.
"It was hard for Kevin, but last season we saw, regarding fitness and goals, what he can do."