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Nolan: Not My Ideal Role But I'm Happy to Do a Job There
Wednesday, 18th Dec 2019 17:40

Jon Nolan has admitted that the number 10 role, in which he has been cast in recent games, is not getting the best out of him in a Town shirt.

The midfielder said: “I wouldn’t say it is my ideal position because I don’t think I’m a natural number 10. I’d say I’m more of an eight, a box to box midfielder but I can see why the manager wants to put me in the number 10 role because I’ll run all day.

“I cover the distance every game but at number 10, ideally, you want a player in the team who’s passing the ball for fun. You want to get on the half-turn to then slip Nors and Kayden through.

“I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve been in that position.

"But I’m happy to do a job there. As a number 10 you’ve got to chip in with the goals but that’s where I think we’ve been getting sucked in.

“Playing the long ball, it’s like we’re hoping that the ball drops there to create chances instead of building through the thirds, which we have the players to do.”

Nolan emphasised that his is a purely personal view, adding: “It’s only my opinion. You look at our squad and we’re set up to play football more than we are to go long ball.

“We haven’t got a target man, an Akinfenwa, but if we did, yes, get it up to him and play off the big man.

“Nors and Kayden want the ball playing down the sides so that they can use their pace.

“They’re not target men, are they? We can do that as well to be honest but I just think, as a team and with the individual players that we have, we’re set up to play through the thirds. Most of our players are more comfortable with the ball on the floor, me included.”

Nolan’s comments will be of interest to supporters, many of whom will concur with his view, and the midfielder agrees the players need the fans to remain on side as the team head for Portsmouth on Saturday looking to claim their first win in five league games.

“As clichéd as it sounds, they are our 12th man, and I’m sure they will be there again in their numbers to support us on Saturday,” he said.

“I’m sure they will stick with us but it’s our performances that will decide because we’ve got to give them something to cheer about.”

Not only has Town’s recent run enabled leaders Wycombe to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the table, it has also seen several sides close the gap on them as the halfway stage of the campaign looms large.

With four games to be played between Saturday and January 1st, and depending on factors like results and injuries, it would be no surprise if manager Paul Lambert again turned to his squad rotation policy in order to keep as many players fresh.

Nolan added: “I don’t think players like the squad rotation policy – we all want to play – but obviously the gaffer’s there to make decisions. We’ve got a big squad and he’s got to utilise that really.”

Meanwhile, Nolan is delighted to report that the injury that saw him miss the entire pre-season programme is not affecting him in any way.

He said: “We get the stats after every game and I run the furthest in every game. But any player who misses pre-season takes a bit of time to get going.

“It’s not what anyone wants – you want to start the season flying – and I was no different. But I’m fully fit now, which is what matters.”

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Keaneish added 18:02 - Dec 18
I agree Jon. Being saying as much for a while. You're more suited to that role and Judge or Dozzell are better number 10s.
1

Cakeman added 19:30 - Dec 18
Good that Jon has the courage to speak his mind, which he has done in a correct manner.
Hopefully the Management team will see it that way too.
6

Lathers added 19:34 - Dec 18
Jon - sadly you gotta play where Lambo’s state-of-the-art random squad rotation computer selects you to play. No point grumbling fella, just think yourself lucky you haven’t had to take the gloves off Tomas yet...
7

arc added 19:45 - Dec 18
I hate to say it, but Nolan is just not a good enough finisher to play as the no. 10. The accursed Hurst played him there at the start of last season and he missed some key chances that helped lead to our bad start. We shouldn't be repeating that mistake. Nolan's a willing trier (which may make him the best of the Hurst signings), but he's not a no. 10.
9

jabberjackson added 20:29 - Dec 18
I'm not sure his comments will be well received by the man who picks the team
I'll be surprised if he plays on Saturday
4

herfie added 20:50 - Dec 18
Can’t disagree with anything JN says. Well thought through, and expressed articulately. Hope one or two others take careful note.
0

meekreech added 22:18 - Dec 18
Should not be anywhere near the first team. May be able to run around a lot but we need more than that and he has not got it .
The same with nsiala, Edwards and donacien .
0

Suffolkboy added 23:10 - Dec 18
Do not understand at all why a midfielder in any capacity appears not to have the professional footballing skills and calm confidence to put the ball in the net
These comments might just indicate not only he doesn’t want the role ,but doesn’t understand it : what are we employing non thinkers like this for ?
In my estimation he needs to buckle down ,make all that measured effort pay and justify his place on the field ,in the squad and in an ITFC shirt !
Am I alone in expecting more ?
COYB
0

TimmyH added 23:26 - Dec 18
Personally feel whether he dislikes the No. 10 role or plays elsewhere he hasn't fulfilled his promise. We got him due to playing under Hurst before they both moved here going up a league, now we've come down to where we originally bought him (Edwards the same) from he still is a little underwhelming in my opinion. That is the problem too many players particularly in midfield not impressing and in those I include Edwards, Dozzell, Judge and again too a degree Huws.
1

braveblue added 08:19 - Dec 19
Does not reflect well on Lambert. Nolan could be rotated!!
1

dirtydingusmagee added 08:42 - Dec 19
hedging your bets braveblue lol.
0

ArnieM added 10:17 - Dec 19
Herfie: agree with you 💯 % ...... I hope Lambert reconsiders hud current approach going into the second half of the season , starting with Pompey!
0

NITFC added 13:18 - Dec 19
Don't talk yourself out of the team Jon. IMO you are one of the best that we have!
0

grow_our_own added 13:24 - Dec 19
I'm not sure what Jon Nolan is good enough for. Perhaps not even good enough to be a professional footballer at all. He made 23 appearances last season, averaging 0.69 points per game. This season, his unbroken stretch of league starts since returning from injury have coincided with our loss of form. His 12 starts this season have gained only 16 points. Mid-table form. Perhaps mid-table of league one is the peak of his ability.

I've pretty much lost patience. What's the point in having an engine to get around, if you're crap when you get it? There's a reason Mo Farrah is not a professional footballer. Judge or one of the young 'uns: El MizouniDobra instead please. Nolan with the ball at his feet in a last-pass situation is like asking a fish to deliver a lecture on Nietzschean philosophy.
-1

Linkboy13 added 18:18 - Dec 20
You could make a case for any of our midfield not being good enough apart from Downes they all have one thing in common a lack of pace and physicality.
0


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