Joey Barton has backed former teammate Kevin Nolan to be a success at Leyton Orient – and says he is keen to become a manager once he has retired.
Nolan was appointed as Orient’s new boss on Thursday and replaces Ian Hendon, who was sacked by the Sky Bet League Two side following a poor run of results.
Barton has questioned the player-manager role that Nolan has been given, but believes that his fellow 33-year-old has the ‘skill sets’ to bring success to The Matchroom Stadium.
“I’m very surprised – obviously I was at West Ham for a short period in the summer and we were speaking and I honestly didn’t see it coming,” the Burnley midfielder said.
“He looked as lean as I’ve ever seen him, I thought he had lot to offer as a player, I still think he has.
“If anyone I played with was going to be ready for it, Nobby’s always had a wise head on young shoulders. He’s the best captain I’ve played for by a mile, he’s as good of a man as I’ve been in a dressing room with, he’s someone I consider a real close friend and somebody I think will be very, very good at the next transition because he’s just a really good person.
“It will be interesting to watch. I don’t know how he’s going to be. He’s been with Big Sam (Allardyce) for so long – you’re going to pick up good habits from being with a manager that has had success over such a long period as Sam. It’s a wonderful start to his next phase.
“I know he’s going in as player-manager but I’m not sure how he’s going to handle that because I can’t remember anyone doing it really well since Kenny Dalglish. No doubt Nobby will find a way around it.
“He has all the skillsets to be very, very successful. You wish him the best and I’ll be looking for Leyton Orient results now after all the teams I’ve played for on a Saturday.”
Barton says he is wary of making the jump straight into management – highlighting Gary Neville’s struggles at Valencia.
“I would like to. I know it’ll be swimming against my past, to convince someone to give me a job. I believe in what I am about but I am going to have to overcome a few more hurdles than other people,” he added.
“I’d personally like to do it slightly differently, it would be prudent for me to work for someone as a coach first to understand what the job is about. You see Gary Neville at Valencia and the jury is still out there.”