Former West Ham captain Kevin Nolan gives honest verdict on Slaven Bilic

Leyton Orient player-boss Kevin Nolan has delivered his verdict on the man who brought his time at West Ham United to an end.

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

With the Hammers signing the likes of Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio, Perdro Obiang, Victor Moses and Alex Song to add to a midfield already boasting 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 in League Two.

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.

'A breath of fresh air'

But Nolan had nothing but platitudes for the former Croatia manager when he was asked about West Ham on talkSPORT.

"With not knowing Slav' too long but having those couple of months with him, (I can say) what a nice fella' and he's come across really well this year," Nolan told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT.

"He's been a breath of fresh air for West Ham and the Premier League I think with his views and the way he comes across.

"I'm delighted for him I really am and I hope they continue on that run and keep doing well."

So there you have it, Nolan, like all West Ham fans and many neutrals, is loving Bilic's work this season.

Nolan's new appreciation of Bilic's evolution

Rumours had circulated on West Ham forums and the like when Bilic first joined the club 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.

Three wins in a week against Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton have pushed the Hammers up to fifth in the Premier League table, just one point off the Champions League places with nine games to go.

Bilic's side also play Manchester United this Sunday for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

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