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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 14:54 GMT
Nolan backs Ricketts to succeed
By Paul Fletcher

Kevin Nolan (left) and Michael Ricketts were close friends at Bolton
Nolan (left) and Ricketts celebrate their win over Preston in the 2001 play-off final
Bolton skipper Kevin Nolan has backed former Trotters team-mate Michael Ricketts to succeed at Preston.

Ricketts signed a deal with Preston after impressing on trial and made his debut as a substitute last Saturday.

The 28-year-old had a prolific scoring record at Bolton but his career has stalled since leaving them in 2003.

"Hopefully he can do the business and get Preston into the Premiership because a player of his quality should be in the top flight," said Nolan.

Ricketts' form while at Bolton - with 37 goals in 63 league starts - earned him an England cap, the striker playing 45 minutes against Holland.

He moved to Middlesbrough for 3.5m in January 2003 - but his career has been on the wane ever since.

The Birmingham-born forward joined Leeds on a free transfer in June 2004 and had loan spells at Stoke, Cardiff and Burnley.

He joined Southend on a two-year deal in June but left shortly afterwards with a question mark over his fitness.

But Nolan believes that Ricketts can resurrect his career at Deepdale.

"I hope that what has happened to him over the last few years is all behind now because it is quite sad," added Nolan.

"I have always said that at the right weight and with the right attitude there are not many better two-footed players in the Premiership. He is also good in the air.

"In our first season back in the Premiership he scored 15 goals in a struggling side and there is now doubt that the goals can flow for him."

Barnsley 0-1 Preston
13 Jan 07 |  Championship
Preston want Ricketts for season
10 Jan 07 |  Preston


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