Kevin Nolan lifts the lid on his relationship with Slaven Bilic, discusses hopes for West Ham

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic during the press conference

Former West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan has lifted the lid on his relationship with Slaven Bilic and revealed his hopes for the club this season.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic and coach Julian Dicks (L) during trainingWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic talks to coach Julian Dicks

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

With the Hammers signing the likes of Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang to add to a midfield already boasting Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate last summer, the writing was on the wall early on for Nolan under the former Croatia boss.

His contract was eventually terminated by mutual consent and after a spell without a club, the former Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers man took over as player-manager of West Ham's East London neighbours Leyton Orient in League Two.

Nolan's spell as O's boss didn't last long, though - 14 games to be precise - and he has since been doing some punditry work waiting for his next opportunity to arise.

With Bilic the man responsible for ending Nolan's time as a Premier League captain with the Hammers, some might think he would bear a grudge.

West Ham's Kevin Nolan looks dejectedKevin Nolan knew his time was up at West Ham last season

But the Liverpudlian revealed the truth is anything but on talkSPORT.

"Me and Slaven had a great working relationship," Nolan told Alan Brazil's Sports Breakfast.

"I think it was just time that I stepped aside and let him mould his team and mould a new captain in Mark Noble who had been my understudy for many years.

Picture Supplied by Action ImagesNolan helped lead the Hammers back into the Premier League in 2012

"Talking to him he didn't want me to leave, he told me I'd be a major part of his plans in the fact that I'd be on the bench ... I'd be in and around the squad all the time but at that time it was just something I thought I wasn't happy with and we parted company, and we did it really amicably.

"(Bilic is a) very good man, very good man manager. I'm pleased he did really well and fingers crossed, legs crossed, everything crossed he can continue that this season."

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic with Dimitri Payet as he is substitutedNolan says Bilic is a 'very good man, very good man manager'

So there you have it. Nolan, like all West Ham fans, is loving Bilic's work in East London.

His positive words are a far cry from rumours that were circulating on West Ham forums last season suggesting Nolan was not happy with Allardyce's replacement.

But the Liverpudlian now knows the pressures of being a manager in his own right and has rightly praised Bilic for taking his old side on to another level this season.

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