West Ham captain Kevin Nolan does not blame French players for Newcastle United troubles

TOON TIME: West Ham's Kevin Nolan (second right) celebrates with former Newcastle team-mate Andy Carroll (far right) The pair are to take on their ex-club on Saturday

TOON TIME: West Ham's Kevin Nolan (second right) celebrates with former Newcastle team-mate Andy Carroll (far right) The pair are to take on their ex-club on Saturday

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WEST Ham United’s former Newcastle United star Kevin Nolan has stopped short of blaming the French contingent for the problems on Tyneside.

But the midfielder believes Newcastle should have a strong “core” of British players.

Nolan takes on the Toon tomorrow at Upton Park.

“I can’t wait for it,” said the Scouser who will be joined in the Hammers line-up by Geordie boy Andy Carroll.

“Going back up to Newcastle was a massive thing for me, and I’m looking forward to this game.”

The make-up of the dressing room has changed significantly since Nolan – whose hat-trick in the club’s 5-1 win over Sunderland went down in Geordie folklore – last led Newcastle out of the tunnel at St James’s Park.

The club’s recruitment has predominantly been concentrated in the French market over the past couple of years.

“A lot of people are saying it’s about the foreign players, I don’t believe that,” said Nolan.

“But it’s always important to have a British core to your squad, three or four lads in your ranks who can step up.”