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Nov 11, 2012

Nolan: I revived Andy Carroll's career

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan believes he was an influential figure in helping to revive Andy Carroll's career while the pair were at Newcastle.

• Blog: Unreliable history

Nolan, 30, lived with Carroll in 2010 as Newcastle attempted to help the England international focus on football.

Nolan was captain of the Magpies at the time and he admits that the experience helped Carroll deal with the pressures of negative publicity.

"At Newcastle, if something goes on, it gets exploded 10 times and with Andy, it was magnified 1,000 times," Nolan said. "He was on assault charges but that sort of died quite quickly afterwards and all the charges put up against him were suddenly dropped.

"It was because he's 6ft 5in, he's got long hair, he stands out in a crowd. I knew he just had to keep himself out of those situations, and since then he's learnt so much. He's been to Liverpool where he lived on his own with his girlfriend.

"There is a different lad standing there in that dressing room now. There's a man there now who can look after himself. You'd have to ask Andy if I've had an influence on that, of course I'm going to say 'yeah'."

Carroll reunited with Nolan when he moved to West Ham from Liverpool in the summer and the pair will face their former club when they travel to Newcastle on Sunday.

Nolan admits he never had intentions of leaving Newcastle, but holds no ill feelings towards the club after not being offered a contract extension.

"They told me 'we can sort all you want at the end of the season'," he said. "Then two weeks before the end that offer went off the table. I was on holiday and must admit it ruined it. Me and my wife were going through a bad time because she didn't want to move, she loved it in Newcastle.

"We were settled, had the kids in school, but that's just part of football. I knew that down here I could succeed. I knew Big Sam had come here and I thought 'yeah, let's make it happen'. I was only too pleased to answer the call.

"I'm thankful I made that choice because it's been a fantastic 17 months. But, as I say, no hard feelings, I'm delighted to be here now - and I had a fantastic time there [at Newcastle].

"It was the best for both parties and I left shaking hands with everyone. I'm looking forward to going back and saying goodbye, because I didn't get a chance to thank a lot of people who made my stay up there really great."

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