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Nolan out to swell St James' Park coffers
Published : 25 Apr 2011 09:53:22
THEY might look like a team with little to play for, but Kevin Nolan claims the prospect of swelling the St James' Park coffers will drive Newcastle on in the final four matches of the season. Saturday's 1-1 draw with Blackpool left the Magpies seven points clear of the relegation zone, and while survival is not yet quite assured, it is all but impossible to see them being dragged into a last-day battle against the drop. As a result, their motivation could be questioned ahead of matches against Liverpool, Birmingham, Chelsea and West Brom, but Nolan insists his team-mates still have plenty to play for. Alan Pardew already has a £35m fighting fund following the departure of Andy Carroll in January, but with every Premier League place worth more than £800,000, there is a determination that ninth-placed Newcastle will not slip any lower before the season ends on May 22. We want to finish as high as we can and get as much money back for the club as possible, so they can go and spend it over the summer on new players and new recruits, said Nolan. We're probably safe now, but we're certainly not resting. We want to get as many points as we can. The aim is to get above the person that's above us, and that's always been our goal. We've never talked about relegation, and we've never talked about Europe either. We've just tried to keep our focus on staying in that top ten, and every time we've dropped out of it, we seem to have put a run together. Saturday's draw means Newcastle have lost just one of their last four matches, but their form will be severely tested on Sunday when they travel to a Liverpool side that put five past Birmingham at the weekend. As a born-and-bred Liverpudlian, Nolan is desperate to feature at Anfield, and while he was forced off in the second half at Bloomfield Road with a minor groin problem, he is confident of being fit in six days time. You feel it after you've had a bit of time away, said the skipper, who served a two-match suspension during the games with Aston Villa and Manchester United. I had a little bit of a niggle in my groin all week and I was a bit fatigued at the end, but the substitution was more precautionary than anything, to get someone on who could run around a bit faster than me. I hate missing games and it was horrible to have to watch from the sidelines in the last couple of weeks. But it's part and parcel of it and I've just tried to be there for the lads and give them as much support as I can.