Leyton Orient forward Ollie Palmer has praised Kevin Nolan’s impact on his game
- Credit: Archant
After scoring winner at Yeovil, striker paid tribute to former West Ham United captain
Leyton Orient forward Ollie Palmer has praised the impact of Kevin Nolan after finishing the season with two goals in two games.
It has been an ultimately disappointing campaign for the club with promotion the aim all year, but they could only finish eighth in the League Two table.
A goal from the 24-year-old in the 87th minute at Yeovil Town on Saturday ensured O’s ended the season with a 1-0 victory.
He scored the winner a week earlier against his old club Mansfield Town and believes his recent improved displays are down to Nolan’s help.
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“Kevin has been fantastic with me and I think I have improved a hell of a lot in the last two or three months since he’s been here,” said Palmer.
“He has helped me in training every single day and I’d like to thank him for the help he’s given me. He has a lot of knowledge.
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“I’m not just saying this either, I think you have probably seen in my performances of late that I’ve improved, I definitely feel I have. It is good to get a couple of goals to end the season on a personal high.”
The Orient forward went on to thank caretaker Andy Hessenthaler for giving him a starting role for the final three games of the season.
Palmer was one of the few players to come away with any credit after the 3-0 loss to Barnet on April 9.
Nolan lost his managerial duties a few days after that loss and then Armand Gnanduillet surprisingly started the next two matches while president Francesco Becchetti helped pick the team alongside Hessenthaler and his coaching staff.
An injury to Jay Simpson allowed Palmer to be selected at AFC Wimbledon before he started again versus the Stags and at Huish Park last weekend.
Hessenthaler picked the starting XI for the final two matches with his coaching staff, with Becchetti not involved, and it resulted in O’s picking up six points with their number nine taking the plaudits.
“I’ll always work hard, but I think I developed a lot under Kevin Nolan. He has helped me on the training ground,” added Palmer.
“Andy has put his faith in me and it has built my confidence up. It is a little bit too late, I’m aware of that, but it is something I’ll take into next season now.
“It is something to build on for pre-season and we go away now, we’ll try and relax and recuperate. It has been a long, tiring season with a lot of ups and downs. We will go again now and we need to try and get promotion next year.”
Palmer was also quizzed on whether the players would have to return for training despite the season finishing.
Last season Becchetti insisted the Orient squad train after relegation, but the former Stags striker was unsure if it would be the case again this time.
He also pointed out the struggles that other teams have endured after going down from League One, adding: “I think the boys trained after the season finished last year because they had got relegated and the chairman was disappointed.
“This season, yes we are all disappointed we didn’t get in the play-offs and promotion, but there have been some fantastic teams this year.
“You look at Notts County, Yeovil and Crawley Town. They’ve all come down and they’ve not been in contention and it’s a difficult league to get out of.
“I know we have got some meetings on Monday and then hopefully we’ll be able to a rest up and look forward to pre-season.”