Nolan hails Jobi after Pompey victory
18:12 06 February 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
Brisbane Road boss reflects on success at Fratton Park and reaction of the players that didn’t feature in the game
Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan lavished praise on Jobi McAnuff following his winner at Portsmouth this afternoon.
The east Londoners should have won by more than just 1-0, but were eventually indebted to the Jamaican’s strike.
He curled into the top corner with 53 minutes of the League Two clash played and the O’s boss hailed his impact on and off the pitch.
Nolan believes McAnuff is a key presence in the dressing room and praised the whole mentality at the club following the triumph.
“The winner was sheer quality and Jobi has got that in abundance. I have known him for a long time and he is a great lad and professional on and off the field,” said the Orient player-manager.
“He is a credit to me because he has been captain in big dressing rooms before and managed big players so I know when I am not in the dressing room, he can manage it for me.
“I am delighted for him today because it was a fantastic finish and he had a tough time just before I come in. But that is in the past now and we are looking forward, the whole club is and we are all in it together. It is great to be part of that and long may it continue.”
Shaun Brisley and Nicky Hunt made their debuts at Fratton Park and both impressed to help Orient keep another clean sheet.
They have only conceded three times since Nolan took over and all of those occurred last weekend against Cambridge United.
Ollie Palmer, Scott Kashket, Blair Turgott and Jerome Binnom-Williams were among the players not to feature at Portsmouth.
And the O’s boss praised their reaction to not being involved and revealed what type of role they’ll play this season.
Nolan added: “It was tough leaving some of them boys out today and I said in the changing room after the camaraderie and everything they have shown to me since they were left out, like how they are with the boys, was brilliant.
“If we are going to try and push into these play-off positions and try to get up then we need a mentality where we are all in it together. I am going to need this squad throughout the season and in the next 16 games.
“I am under no illusions, they will all be needed and play a big part hopefully in getting this club up. It is a fantastic win, but it is only three points.
“We are playing against our rivals and when you get the victory it feels a bit better don’t get me wrong, but we have our feet firmly on the floor.”
Orient’s player-manager was asked about his performance at Fratton Park, where he should have scored his 100th league goal.
He could only hit the crossbar from close range and reflected on his first start since playing for West Ham United back August.
“I was happy because I thought the team played well, I am not going to go into individuals, I’ll talk about everyone else’s performance, but not mine,” said Nolan with a smile.
“I will think about my display when I go home, but I have a good support staff in Andy Hessenthaler and Lee Harrison and if I wasn’t pulling my weight, they’d drag me off. I am sure I have done okay today.”
Nolan also revealed Nigel Atangana was left out because of a “gentlemen’s agreement” between Portsmouth manager Paul Cook and the club.