Nolan - The New Shearer?
Kevin Nolan is arguably the biggest influence in the Toon dressing room since Alan Shearer was a player. When things go wrong, Chris Hughton is shown the door ... and the shit hits the fan. Ruud Gullit said (after leaving Newcastle): "Newcastle will not progress until Alan Shearer leaves. He has too much influence in the club." Kevin Nolan, along withSteve Harper, Alan Smith and Nicky Butt, played a key role in uniting a dressing room when the likes of Michael Owen and Mark Viduka couldn't give a toss. Kevin Nolan: "Everyone is now saying it is easy and we should have done it, but at the beginning of the season, we weren't favourites to win this league, we weren't favourites to even go up automatically, so it just shows what we have done. "There are a lot of ex-players who wrote us off, a lot of pundits who wrote us off, and we wanted to prove all that wrong, and a lot of papers who did hammer us when we went down, and rightly so. "But we have found something now which hopefully can be the beginning of something which is going to be brilliant for Newcastle United, and that's a squad of players who want to play for Newcastle United and love this club as much as we do and want to be back up there as much as the fans do. "We want to be back where we belong. We are back there - it's going to be tough, it's going to be relentless again, but we are going to give it our best shot and hopefully make sure we stay a Premier League club now for years to come. "This club doesn't belong in this division, the fan-base, the stadium we have got. "A lot of mistakes have been made over the years and we have spoken about them, but now this is about learning from the mistakes and slowly building this fantastic club up into a great club."
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