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Nolan intends to play for a long time

21:00 22 January 2016

New Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan (right) alongside president Francesco Becchetti (pic: LOFC).

New Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan (right) alongside president Francesco Becchetti (pic: LOFC).

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New Orient player-manager believes he can make a big difference on the pitch and is determing to bring success to the club

Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan has no intention of hanging up his boots any time soon and believes he can make a big difference on the pitch.

The 33-year-old has surprised many by taking a managerial job at Brisbane Road, but he will be playing for the O’s as well.

He admits it will be a little bit of time before he is fully fit, but is relishing getting back out on the pitch again.

After leaving West Ham on August 27, Nolan trained with the east Londoners for three months before failing to agree a deal with the League Two club.

Orient’s new boss revealed that the lure of managing persuaded him to take a chance in the fourth tier of English football.

“We were talking before and we got to a point where I thought I could possibly get a higher team and that was the basic be all and end all,” said Nolan when asked about nearly signing for the club in December.

“I thought I could play higher and still do think that, but as you say when the opportunity of managing this club came along it put another spin on it. To me it is a challenge, which I’ve never been shy of, and I think that was probably the tipping point.

“I am just pleased we have got it over the line and I am now the manager as well as being able to play when I can and when the coaches tell me I am good enough to play!

“They are going to be used as my support team and I am looking to bring someone in, but maybe in a couple of weeks.”

Orient revealed this evening that Kevin Nugent has left his role at the club, something he decided before Nolan’s appointment.

The former West Ham captain admitted it should be a few weeks before he is able to represent the O’s after failing to play for quite some time.

Nolan added: “I was obviously training with Orient before Christmas and I have done plenty of running and work in the gym.

“I haven’t had the match practise yet, but I will be involved in the coming weeks and then we’ll go from there. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll be gracing the pitch.

“I have a two-and-a-half year contract so I see myself playing up until then at least. Listen I feel fine and I have never had any major injuries.

“The worst I have had was six weeks and I have always got back really early from injuries. I am feeling good, I feel refreshed and I am really biting at the bit to get back out there so I am really looking forward to it and really excited to get this feeling.”

Nolan went on to praise Leyton Orient’s infrastructure and insists it is a huge club despite curently being in League Two.

Even though the challenge is a big one, the former Newcastle United captain intends to bring success to Brisbane Road.

He added: “You only have to look around. It is such a great club. As my 100 odd messages and 400 missed calls will tell you - everyone knows about Leyton Orient.

“It is the second team to everyone in London, but what I and Francesco Becchetti want to do is bring success to the club and fill this ground week in, week out. That’s my aim.

“I think the lads we have got here know about how I have gone about training and what I am about so I think when I did come in the other day they knew exactly what they were getting.

“With me, I don’t see it as a negative that I am a player as well as a manager. I see it as a positive and I have spoke to Sam Allardyce this week. He said there’s one thing you can’t do when you’re just a manager. You can’t go over that white line.

“Now I’ve got an opportunity that I am allowed to go over that white line when I am fit and ready to go so I can affect something that’s on the pitch and be there among my players and make sure I can make a difference on the pitch as well as off it.”

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