Nolan hails important win

Skipper wants Hammers to go on winning run now

Kevin Nolan: Bagged winning goal at home to Aston Villa

West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan praised his side's opening day victory at home to Aston Villa thanks to his goal five minutes before the break.

The midfielder, who scored 14 goals for the club last season, turned a low cross from Ricardo Vaz Te, who was initially flagged offside only for the assistant referee Simon Long to change his mind, into the back of the net.

And the 30-year-old admitted that he was not at all worried about the controversy which followed because he knew the ball had touched defender Ciaran Clark on the way through.

He told Sky Sports: "I knew that it had come off the defender so I knew it couldn't have been that and I knew that I wasn't offside. I couldn't see where the linesman was, so that's why I went off celebrating.

"I would have been very unhappy if it would have been chalked off. The referee got it spot on with his decision."

And having secured such an important win on the opening day of the season, Nolan said: "It's what you work all pre-season for with this first game and obviously to get the goal and keep a clean sheet.

"It's a fantastic day all round for us and overall it's a very good start and hopefully we can go on a bit of run now."