Kevin Nolan has insisted that West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce deserves to be mentioned alongside the top managers in the Premier League.
Allardyce had worked with Nolan at Bolton Wanderers before bringing the goalscoring midfielder to Upton Park.
Nolan believes that Allardyce is capable of managing one the biggest teams in the country and thinks that he can help display his credentials by leading West Ham into Europe.
He told The Sun: "I think the boss deserves to be mingling with the top managers week in, week out. I have lots of admiration for him and what he has done for me as a player.
"After working with him for a long time I firmly believe he belongs in the Premier League and I'm a bit gutted he hasn't been given that chance with a really top club.
"He has worked at top clubs but I mean a club that is always in the top four or five so he can have a go at the Champions League."
Nolan, Allardyce and Andy Carroll all make a return to their former club this weekend as West Ham travel to Tyneside to take on Newcastle United.