West Ham manager Sam Allardyce hailed the impact made by the returning Kevin Nolan as the Hammers won 2-0 at Cardiff to move within a point of npower Championship leaders Southampton.

Nolan, who returned from a three-match ban at the Cardiff City Stadium, produced a superb finish to give the visitors the lead two minutes before the break and pulled the strings in the middle of midfield throughout.

"Kevin Nolan is a midfielder goalscorer, he's not a midfielder playmaker. He puts himself in very dangerous positions in the box and finds the quality and the finish in the box that's basically only afforded to the top centre-forwards," said Allardyce.

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