Nolan names the North East club he believes will stay up

Kevin Nolan

Leyton Orient manager Kevin Nolan is a former Newcastle United captain, but played under Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United.

Kevin Nolan is backing one of the Premier League's two North East clubs to survive the drop this season.

Nolan, now the player-manager of League Two side Leyton Orient, spent two years at Newcastle - helping them to promotion as Championship winners in 2009-10.

The following year, he was appointed club captain at St. James' Park but was sold to West Ham at the end of the campaign, at which point he reunited with his former Bolton boss Sam Allardyce.

Another Championship promotion followed, this time via the play-offs, and the pair stayed together for another three years before Allardyce left at the end of his contract.

Slaven Bilic took over at Upton Park last summer and Nolan was subsequently released in August - two months before Allardyce took the reins at struggling Sunderland.

Despite being outside of the relegation places at present, the Mackems are level on points with 19th-placed Newcastle, and with Swansea six points ahead in 16th, it's looking like only one of the current bottom four will survive.

Speaking to TalkSPORT on Friday, Nolan said that neither club should be in the situation they currently find themselves, but when asked if Allardyce would keep Sunderland up, he replied: "Yeah definitely. He knows what to do and he knows how to do it. I think he's probably done it with worse squads.

"He's been able to get a few of the players he wants in the January transfer window and I think you'll see in the coming weeks they'll start nicking points off people.

"The other night they got the equaliser in the last minute [against Crystal Palace] and that's what it's all about when you're trying to stay in that league. It just gives the little bit of an oomph and a little bit more positivity around the ground; everyone gets a little bit more confidence through."

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