Nolan laughs off the stick

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

KEVIN NOLAN may have had the last laugh when Sunderland and West Ham met earlier this season, but this time it was the Stadium of Light crowd that inflicted some misery on the former Newcastle United midfielder.

Nolan scored a 90th minute equaliser to deny Sunderland three points at Upton Park last September, but four months later his West Ham side were on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Wearsiders.

Nolan has a good record against the Black Cats, having scored four times against them last season with his trademark chicken dance celebration well known to the Sunderland fans.

However, as he endured a frustrating afternoon at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, the crowd were able to get their own back by singing "Kevin Nolan, your chicken is dead!" But the former Newcastle man warned the home supporters he will be back again next year.

"It was good banter with their fans," Nolan said. "Fair play to them. I can tell them the chicken is firmly not dead, so they'd best watch out!

"It's a fair while since anyone has seen the chicken celebration - to be honest, far too long. We went through a bit of a tough patch in December and we actually thought we'd turned the corner with a couple of good results, but believe me that celebration will be seen again very soon.

"When you get stick like I did against Sunderland, you either smile or cry. Let's face it, I've made them cry a lot over the years! So I'm just going to smile through this. Okay, I've let them have this one, but I'm already looking forward to seeing them again next year. Let's see what happens then."

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