Belfast Telegraph

Fullham 2 - 1 West Ham: Allardyce hammers Nolan for red card

"Irresponsible" captain Kevin Nolan cost West Ham a priceless victory at Fulham thanks to his red card, according to manager Sam Allardyce.

A furious Allardyce slammed the experienced midfielder for losing his cool in kicking out at Fulham's Fernando Amorebieta.

Nolan was dismissed for kicking the defender's calf off the ball in West Ham's 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Craven Cottage.

The 31-year-old was also sent off for a lunge at Jordan Henderson in West Ham's 4-1 defeat at Liverpool on December 7.

West Ham boss Allardyce said he will review Nolan's captaincy, admitting he cannot fathom his long-term chief lieutenant's recent behaviour.

"I just don't quite understand where he's lost his cool and why it's happened," said Allardyce, who saw his side squander an early lead.

"I know the centre-half fouled him, and I also know that (referee) Mark Clattenburg didn't give a free kick and he should have done. But it's still not an excuse for what Kevin did, and he ends up getting himself sent off."

The Hammers led through Mohamed Diame's seventh-minute strike but Steve Sidwell levelled before Nolan's dismissal, with Dimitar Berbatov then scoring the second-half winner.

Allardyce felt his side should have capitalised on their early advantage, with Nolan was again to blame.

"He was involved in a real key moment that was looking good for us in terms of the header on the far post that would have sent us two-nil up," he added.

"He's responsible for us probably losing the game more than anything else. I'm going to have to find out what's wrong with him, there's something wrong with his mentality at the minute."

West Ham, with Allardyce under pressure, remain in the relegation zone but Fulham's win took them out of the bottom three.

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