Kevin Nolan shows he is still very much one of the West Ham boys

Former West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan has lifted the lid on his relationship with the club since leaving.

Nolan's four-year spell with the Hammers came to an end at the beginning of the season when Slaven Bilic took over from Sam Allardyce.

With the Hammers signing no fewer than seven midfielders to add to the likes of Mark Noble and Chiekhou Kouyate last summer, Nolan's chances were always going to be seriously limited.

His contract was terminated by mutual consent and after a spell without a club, the former Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers man is now enjoying life as player-manager of West Ham's East London neighbours Leyton Orient.

But despite leaving the bright lights and pampered nature of the Premier League behind for the hard grind in League Two, Nolan still keeps in touch with the goings on at his old club.

'I'm delighted for the lads'

And he told talkSPORT he has been suitably impressed.

"They've (West Ham) been absolutely brilliant and I'm delighted for the lads," Nolan told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT.

"I keep in contact with them all the time, we have a group chat and we're all very much chatting all the time on it.

"I hope they continue on that run and keep doing well."

And some run it is too.

West Ham are unbeaten at home since Nolan left back in August and sit fifth in the table after three wins in a week over Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.

It means Bilic's side are just one point off the Champions League places with nine games remaining.

There is also the very real prospect of silverware with a huge FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford looming on Sunday.

Nolan appreciated

The end of Nolan's time at West Ham was tinged with some bad feeling from the terraces as a section of supporters voiced their disapproval over his continued selection.

But Hammers fans are a knowledgeable bunch and very much respect and appreciate Nolan for dropping down a division and galvanising a dressing room that was on its knees following West Ham's relegation in 2011 before helping the club bounce straight back to the big time.

Nolan will return to Upton Park later this month when he turns out for the testimonial of his replacement as Hammers skipper, Mark Noble.

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