Skipper Nolan backs housemate Carroll to be a derby success

30 October 2010 09:08
HOUSEMATE Kevin Nolan has revealed the special preparation that Andy Carroll has had for dealing with Sunderland's two uncompromising centre-backs in tomorrow's 143rd Tyne-Wear derby - the early morning school run.

Carroll was last night given legal permission to choose between moving into his own new home or continue living with the team captain while awaiting a January trial for allegedly assaulting an ex-girlfriend on October 17.

He has been staying at the Nolan family home in Darras Hall, Ponteland, where the 21- year-old has found himself being given something of a lesson in life.

What I have learned is that he's always asleep at the wrong time, said Nolan.

So I've been getting him to bed early and up early to do the school run. He does the school run with me.

He gets up at ten to eight and we leave at five past. We then have our breakfast here at the training ground. I don't know if he likes it, but that's the way it is.

And if he hangs around too much longer, Carroll could find himself joining in with a few more of the household chores and activities.

Normally houseguests get asked to read the bedtime stories, but he hasn't been asked yet, said Nolan, who has a four-year-old daughter and a nine-month old son.

My wife has been in Liverpool this week and when she comes back up this weekend, she will ask him to go and read them a book. We've got all different books to pick from, like Peppa Pig, and there's a monkey one I'm reading them at the minute.

Carroll was in the Newcastle starting line-up in the last meeting with Sunderland at St James' Park on February 1 last year which was Nolan's debut just hours after a deadline day move from Bolton.

Since then the pair have struck up a strong friendship and, despite getting into trouble off the pitch, the Newcastle captain is keen to help Carroll mature in to a rounded professional even when he isn't playing.

Nolan said: I felt sorry for him in some respects and that's why I agreed to let him stay with me. If he continues to do what he does best, and that's perform on the field, that's the main thing.

We were already quite close before he moved in and on away trips, we would spend a good amount of time together.

During the off-season we spent a bit of time together too.

The lad is a great lad to be around. He's always happy and smiling. He's had his own fair share of trouble, but didn't we all when we were 19, 20, 21 It's just that his have been well-documented.

With Carroll's bad boy image also helping him to force a reputation for himself on the pitch, all eyes will be on his battle with Sunderland defenders Titus Bramble and Michael Turner tomorrow.

Neither of the Black Cats centre-backs are renowned for their finesse, while Carroll has already ruffled a few Premier League players in his first season as Newcastle's No 9.

If you get the ball in the box, Andy will get his head on it, said Carroll. I don't think defenders like that.

He causes them problems because he's a big lad. People call him an old-fashioned centre- forward, but he's got more than that. He's got good technique and a great left foot.

He's fantastic in the air. I've not seen a lad as young as him in my time as good as him in the air, powerful.

It's going to be tough against Sunderland. Titus and Michael Turner are big strong lads. Michael Turner lives round the corner from us and he will want to do well.

Titus has got connections with Newcastle so it's going to be a tough game as it always is.

The memories have been flooding back to Nolan this week, with thoughts of his first taste of a derby with Sunderland in mind when Shola Ameobi secured a point after Djibril Cisse's first half opener.

I only signed the day before so I didn't really have the build-up to it, he said. This week it's unbelievable the number of people who want to say something to you. They're all excited about it and that's what's nice about it.

It's always nice to be like that and we hope to make it like that every week and not just when we play Sunderland.

We want the buzz to stay with the fans, who have stuck with us through tough times.

Hopefully we can perform and get the three points.

Source: Northern_Echo