Jim Bentley: Kevin Nolan still a top-class player

Kevin Nolan in action during his West Ham days.
Kevin Nolan in action during his West Ham days.

Jim Bentley knows one player Morecambe will have to look out for on Saturday is Leyton Orient manager Kevin Nolan.

The former Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham midfielder is looking to steer the The O’s back to League 1 after taking over from Ian Hendon at the end of January.

Still with plenty to offer on the field the 33-year-old is set to split his time between the dugout and the middle of the midfield.

It was something that Bentley elected against doing, despite being officially unveiled as a player-manager when he took over at the Globe Arena back in May 2011.

The Shrimps boss, who didn’t play a competitive game after being appointed as manager, said: “I was player-manager to start with but I thought it was very hard to balance the two.

“Kevin Nolan’s a little bit younger than I was when I took the job and has also played at a much higher level than I have.

“He’s gone in there and done a good job as a manager and is also contributing as a player. Fair play to him.

“I’m sure he’s got good staff around him and whether he continues to do that or just focuses on management we’ll have to wait and see.

“He’ll be part of the team or squad on Saturday and is one player we’ll have to look our for because he’s a top-class player and has had a great career.”

Nolan is a manager Bentley has plenty of respect for, the pair hailing not too far away from one another in Merseyside.

The Shrimps boss said: “I grew up in the same neck of the woods as him and I’ve met him once or twice.

“He’s a nice fella, down to earth and honest and he seems to be taking that into the early stages of his management career.

“He’s saying all the right things, seems to have got them playing well and has got decent results.”