Nolan happy to watch Orient from the bench
10:00 26 January 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
New player-manager getting ready for Brisbane Road bow tonight
Kevin Nolan could make his Leyton Orient debut this evening against Newport County, but admits he would rather sit on the bench if it means they carry on winning.
The 33-year-old watched his new side earn an excellent 2-0 victory at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
It was the former West Ham United captain’s first ever match as a manager, although he did name himself among the substitutes.
Nolan wasn’t required, though, despite the O’s fans calling for him to go on at Adams Park and would rather his players carry on playing well so he isn’t needed.
He said: “The lads were saying are you going to go, but I didn’t want to go on. The lads out there deserve the plaudits, they were brilliant.
“It was fantastic support for us but the lads are the ones that have done it. They have kept a clean sheet and every one of them has stood up and been counted so I am delighted for them.
“The fans will be seeing me soon, there is no doubt about that, but if the lads keep winning I will be on the bench waiting for my chance so hopefully I am on the bench for a long time!
“I’ll be coming on trying to nick goals here and there - that will do me. If we are winning games I won’t be able to remove any of these from the team.”
Nigel Atangana made his debut for Orient against the Chairboys – his first competitive match since November 21.
He delivered an excellent display and Nolan only substituted him when the former Portsmouth man suffered cramp.
Another new signing, Armand Gnanduillet, was introduced off the bench for his O’s bow too and looked likely in his 10-minute cameo.
Nolan added: “Nigel did fantastically well and ran his socks off. I think he hasn’t had too many games so he came off with cramp, but the beauty of it is that I had Bradley Pritchard to come on from the bench.
“He has done fantastically well too so I am absolutely delighted with how Nigel has done and even Army. He ruffled them up a bit, chased things down and made them rush things.
“It was a great effort by all of them and even the lads that didn’t get on. That is the pleasing thing.
“I have a few lads on the bench that didn’t get on despite training really well and probably deserving a chance, but because the lads played so well it was hard to make a change.
“But their chance will come with around half a season left so I have asked them to stay on board so we will see how it goes from now. I am sure if we carry on playing how we did against Wycombe we will start moving up the table sooner rather than later.”
Nolan is determined to make it two wins from two this evening with struggling Newport visiting Brisbane Road.
It is his first home match as Orient boss and he is keen to give the fans something to cheer about in E10.
“We will enjoy our win at Wycombe, but now all our thoughts turn to Newport. It is going to be a massive game – my first home game in charge,” said Nolan.
“Our last match there we got annihilated, we looked at the video of the Exeter fixture so it is not going to be easy.
“Newport are not going to make it easy, but we have got to make a game plan to get round them and start a nice run of victories.”