It's all about the team for Hammers new skipper

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West Ham new boy Kevin Nolan is setting no personal targets for himself this season, insisting he is focusing all of his efforts on the club's collective goal of an immediate return to the Barclays Premier League.

Nolan became Hammers boss Sam Allardyce's first summer signing, and was quickly appointed new club captain following the departure of Matthew Upson who left Upton Park on a free transfer.

The pre-season favourites have made further additions in the form of Abdoulaye Faye, Matthew Taylor and Joey O'Brien putting West Ham in the driving seat as the 2011-12 campaign fast approaches.

"[I am setting] no targets, well none I am going to make public anyway, I will keep that to myself," said Nolan. "But hopefully I can get into good goal figures and help the likes of Piq [Freddie Piquionne], Coley [Carlton Cole] and the other lads.

"If I can chip in great, but first and foremost, we have got to make sure we are winning games, that is the key, that the winning mentality comes back and hope that this starts on Sunday against Cardiff."

Nolan spoke positively about the atmosphere in and around the training ground as the Hammers make their final preparations for what they hope will be a successful season in east London.


"I think that obviously when you go down, it is tough on everyone at the club and players," he continued. "People don't realise but they do find that tough, it does live with you.

"So I think when we came in on the first day it was all about doing things the right way, everybody enjoying being here and everyone having a smile on their face coming to work every day, ready to work hard and enjoy what we are all doing."

Nolan paid tribute to the influence that Allardyce has already had on the dressing room, as he looks to stamp his authority on the side in order to return the club to winning ways.

"I think that is something that Sam does bring in abundance, making sure you are happy with everyday life as well as on the training pitch and games.

"The lads seem to have responded very well to that - it is a good group. They're really up for it all and there's a lot for us to prove.

"We must remain grounded, we work hard and get to where we want to be and that is the Premier League again at the end of the season."

Kevin Nolan
Premier League
West Ham United
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