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Joe Jones
Joe Jones

Notts Joe: 'Good player recruitment should see Notts County do well'

Finally, the 2016-17 League Two campaign is almost upon us and whilst a large amount of Notts County fans I know appear optimistic about the season ahead, I still remain fairly quiet with regards to how we'll do.

I was asked a few days ago, by a fellow fan if I was excited or nervous - my reply was ‘neither’.

I think much of what we can expect will come after about seven or eight games have been played - the first few is always a case of teams sussing each other out and I’m only really excited about returning to Meadow Lane.

However, a good result against Yeovil Town would add much needed fuel to the fire of optimism as Notts strive to be more consistent on the field.

The openers are important but I wouldn’t overly worry myself if this didn’t go to plan at the start – I feel John Sheridan has the know-how on this division and he will no doubt be wanting a squad where the merits of team work will thrive.

The Magpies shouldn’t struggle with a lack of creativity, plus we may be fine in terms of goals from our strikers.

Jon Stead has the ability to be a key figure, but I am unsure if we can rely on him alone. That is where the depth of the current squad comes in – especially the returning Jonathan Forte.

At the back, Notts look to have acquired a very good asset in goalkeeper Adam Collin and this signing should see a healthy rivalry form between him and Scott Loach for the starting spot.

We also appear to have the strength and defensive mind-set, which was desperately lacking during the 2015-16 season. The Port Vale lads know what this league is about, and they shouldn’t be pushovers.

I’m excited about seeing Stanley Aborah playing further up the centre of the park, a popular discussion between myself and three fans at half time – included how Aborah could be utilised better.

This included allowing him to be the engine, the player who can pick up the passes to unleash the wingers and strikers. However, I wonder who will become the defensive midfielder in his absence? Could we see Curtis Thompson given that push?

In prior seasons it’s been fairly easy to say where needs strengthening, what players should play and so on, but this term things look wisely better than we have known.

I do feel Notts would have benefited from a stronger striker also joining the ranks, and I mean no disrespect to Vadaine Oliver, nor any of the existing squad but another firm addition to the squad would have bred more confidence, not just among the squad but the fans.

And perhaps a centre-back? There’s always room for a solid, physical, no-nonsense defender.

Yet I do feel the squad is well equipped, with options of different qualities and although we haven’t signed many League Two gems – the recruitment does seem to be spot on in terms of players who work hard, know the league and have a grasp of what should be expected.

I also feel Notts have a good mix of lads and that should allow the squad to form chemistry – if the results come, things should be a lot more exciting.

It’s been a slow out-of-season, with a quiet pre-season but thankfully this is almost over.

Let’s make Meadow Lane somewhere we fans can be proud of, that the players who represent us – will want to repay our faith and more importantly lets ensure a togetherness regardless fractions. If last season taught me anything, it’s to listen to the views you may not necessarily agree with.

Fingers crossed we can a good season!


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