Nolan: Big Sam should have been England manager

Kevin Nolan spoke to ITV's Gabriel Clarke ahead of West Ham's FA Cup tie against Manchester United on Saturday and heaped praise on his manager Sam Allardyce.

Hammers skipper Nolan, who also played under Allardyce at Bolton, says the West Ham boss should have been given the chance to manage England.

"I'm very surprised that he's never had the opportunity," Nolan said. "I don't mean this in a condescending way but I feel a bit sorry that he hasn't."

And Nolan also scoffed at those who stereotype Allardyce as a long-ball merchant.

"I played with top, top players - Jay Jay Okocha, Ivan Campo, Fernando Hierro, Gary Speed, that's just naming a few names," Nolan said, citing several of his former team-mates at Bolton. "You don't attract players like that if you're just going to keep lumping the ball every two minutes."

West Ham v Manchester United is live on ITV on Saturday from 4.30pm