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Paul Hurst on Jon Nolan

12 June 2017

Paul Hurst has explained how the quality of new signing Jon Nolan convinced him to sign the midfielder for the second time in his managerial career.

Nolan is Hurst’s third summer signing after joining on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Chesterfield.

Hurst confirmed that the signing was one of his main priorities for this summer window, and he revealed how the new man will fit into his new-look squad.

“He’s just a very good footballer, he can play anywhere across the middle of the pitch, he can play in behind the striker if needs be.”

He continued: “If he plays in those wide areas he can give something different than a traditional winger, he’s an intelligent footballer, and for me he’s got all the attributes to do well in the modern game.

“Technically he’s very, very good, he’s comfortable in possession, he’s not someone I’d describe as having pace but he glides with the ball.

Nolan scored once for Chesterfield in League One last season, having previously had an impressive goal output under Hurst at Grimsby.

The boss wants his new signing to rediscover that goalscoring ability but also to work for the team.

“For me he scored four goals in 18 appearances [at Grimsby], he only got one last year but it was against Sheffield United where he was excellent.

“I’ll certainly be demanding work rate from him, but we also want to bring goalscoring back into his game, and he’s got the quality to do that.”

There was no hesitation from Hurst to sign the player despite relegation with Chesterfield last term, and the manager explained how his previous success points towards this being a positive move for the club.

He said: “He was at a League One club last year at Chesterfield, and right from the end of the season I knew it was something that I wanted to try and do.

“I know I said a while back I said about not wanting players who have just come from relegated teams, but the year before he won promotion so he knows what it’s like to be successful as well, which is important.”

As well as playing for the Town manager, Nolan also played against Hurst during a spell at Stockport, and the boss recalled a specific game where his new signing game him a tough time.

“He first came to my attention years ago when he was at Stockport, and he ran a game against Grimsby when I was there, he just kept possession of the ball and made us chase all afternoon.

“I kept note of him from there, he went to Lincoln and I don’t think his style particularly suited the way they played.”

He continued: “His career stuttered but when we finally got him, from then on we really kicked on, and he caught the eye of other clubs.

“I certainly believe he’s good enough to play in League One, if not higher.”