KEVIN Nolan has backed Danny Shittu to stand tall in the absence of the suspended Gary Cahill.

Wanderers will be without the 22-year-old until the trip to Manchester United on September 27 after he picked up a three-game ban for a straight red card in the defeat to Northampton Town on Tuesday night.

Shittu is now likely to be given the chance to prove his Premier League credentials alongside Andy O’Brien at the heart of the defence against West Brom today in a side also missing the injured Johan Elmander and Matty Taylor.

But rather than dwell on misfortune, Nolan has challenged the likes of Shittu, Riga and Ricardo Gardner to cement their place in Gary Megson’s first team plans.

“Losing Gary Cahill is a big blow, no doubt about that,” the skipper said of the defender’s suspension. “He has been magnificent for us since he came in.

“But we brought Danny Shittu in and I have got no doubt that the big man will stand up and be counted."

For more on this story see Saturday's edition of The Bolton News