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Tuesday 19 June 2012

Nolan 'can't wait' for West Ham opener

Skipper targets home win as promoted Hammers face Aston Villa on return to top flight

Kevin Nolan scored 13 goals as West Ham were promoted from the Championship

West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan is relishing his club’s return to the Barclays Premier League after the Hammers were pitted against Aston Villa on the opening day of the season.

The Villans will travel to Upton Park on August 18th with new manager Paul Lambert in charge for the first time but Nolan believes home advantage can prove crucial for the Hammers.

"It is a home game to get us started, which is great for us,” Nolan told West Ham’s website.

“Aston Villa are a very good side and have a new manager so their players will be looking to impress, but we will be aiming to kick off the new campaign in a positive way on our own ground and look to try and win the game.”

Nolan, 29, moved down a division from the Barclays Premier League to the Championship last summer when West Ham signed him from Newcastle United.

"I am sure our fans will do their best to help us get off to a good start"
- Kevin Nolan

He scored 13 goals in the campaign as the Hammers sealed an instant return to the top flight following their 2011 relegation, and now the midfielder is excited about being back.

"After getting promoted and everything calming down, people go away for a bit of a break. But seeing the fixtures come out, it brings the new season to everyone's attention again and I for one can't wait to get started," said the former Bolton Wanderers man.

"I am sure all our fans can't wait for the season to begin and to know we are back in the Premier League only makes it more exciting. I am sure our fans will do their best to help us do what we can to get off to a good start."

West Ham finished bottom of the table in their last Barclays Premier League campaign in 2010/11 but Nolan believes a good start to the coming season will lay the foundations for a successful year.

"There can be some strange results early in the season as all the teams look to settle into their routines, but if we can make a solid start, then that will be good for us,” he said.

“Nothing is sorted early in the season, but if we can start as well as we can do, then we give ourselves something to build on."

West Ham travel to Swansea City for their first away fixture on 25 August, before coming back home to face London neighbours Fulham on 1 September.

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Key Points

  • Kevin Nolan excited about return to Barclays Premier League
  • West Ham start season at home to Aston Villa on August 18th
  • Nolan believes home advantage will benefit Hammers