Newcastle United derby hero Kevin Nolan hails Mike Ashley’s ‘fantastic’ work
Former Newcastle United midfielder Kevin Nolan has launched a spectacular defence of owner Mike Ashley - hailing the ‘fantastic’ work he has done at St James’s Park.
During an appearance on talkSPORT, Nolan - who is well-regarded among Newcastle supporters after netting a hat-trick in a 5-1 Tyne-Wear derby win - praised the work done by the Sports Direct tycoon on Tyneside.
And while Nolan admits the pair had disputes during his time as a player, he feels Ashley can’t be faulted for his work on Tyneside.
“With Mike, you can’t fault him,” said the former Notts County boss.
“We had a dispute with him years and years ago when I was there about bonuses. As players, we wanted X and he was like ‘this is what you’re having, if you don’t like it then don’t sign it.’”
“That’s the way he is and he’s been like that for the last ten years.
“I don’t think he’s ever changed.
“When he first went he had great intentions of putting Newcastle back on the map. Obviously he’s lost that now and he wants to sell it.
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“There’s now two ways about it, he wants to get out. But what he’s done, he’s still been able to finance the club and make sure everything is still running smoothly.
“You go up there and it’s a fantastic club, and what he’s done inside the ground is fantastic. I genuinely believe that the fans want a sale and when that happens everybody will be happy - Mike as well.”
Nolan also offered his take on the departure of popular manager Rafa Benitez - whom he felt was fully aware of the job he was entering under Ashley.
“The whole Rafa Benietz thing, he knew what he was going in to when he walked into that club, because Mike is not one who will move the goalposts,” he added.
“Rafa has done quite well in terms of the media in the way he feels and what he wants.
“But Mike is stubborn, he’s a businessman and he wants to do things his way.”