Hammers boss Sam Allardyce threatened to strip Nolan of the captaincy after he received his second red card in four matches for lashing out at Fulham's Fernando Amorebieta.
Nolan sat out some crucial games as the Hammers languished at the wrong end of the table, but regained the armband once he served his suspension.
The 31-year-old midfielder has led by example, scoring two goals in successive games as the east Londoners have pulled themselves out of the drop-zone.
Nolan admits he was grateful for the continued support of Allardyce, who also served as his manager at Bolton Wanderers.
"I've worked with the gaffer since I was 17 years old and I can't thank him enough for everything he's done for me, especially over the last month when it's been really tough," Nolan told the club's official website.
"I really knew when that happened on New Year's Day that the lads and the gaffer had my back, and I was overwhelmed by it.
"The last couple of weeks, with the goals, that's my little way of trying to give a bit back for the support they've given me.
"If I can keep chipping away and get a few more goals then hopefully that'll be a little way of paying back the stupidity that I suffered over the last month."
Nolan had only scored twice before his recent spree, but he wants to weigh in with more crucial goals in the absence of suspended striker Andy Carroll.
"The most important goals for me are the ones that win you games," he said.
"I'm just delighted I've been able to get a couple which have got us on the road to three points with another fantastic clean sheet.
"I have had chances over the season, but it just hasn't been falling right for me but now I feel confident and I'm really looking forward to games.
"The camaraderie that's been shown over the season to be able to stay in there has been brilliant. On Saturday again you've seen the togetherness and everything we're about.
"It's not over yet, we know it's going to be a big battle to the end of the season, but it's one we're all looking forward to."