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Martin Allen describes half-naked pre-derby River Trent plunge at 5am

Joe Jones

Former Notts County boss Martin Allen motivated his players ahead of a derby against Nottingham Forest by walking half-naked into the River Trent at five in the morning.

The story is another of the anecdotes featured in the book One Flew Over the Magpie's Nest, written by lifelong Magpies fan Paul Mace and containing stories from former players, managers, directors and fans.

Following Monday's revelation of Roberto Mancini almost taking the reins at Meadow Lane, it was revealed on Tuesday that the ex-Notts boss, nicknamed Mad Dog, went the extra mile to try and gee up his boys ahead of the League Cup tie at the City Ground in September 2011.

The extract reads: "I was so intense and focussed for the game. I didn't think Forest were any good. I thought we could beat them.

"At 5am on the morning of the game, I went to the back of the Trent End by the River Trent to shoot a motivational video for the players. I went along with our rather bemused video journalist Dane Vincent.

"I explained to the players on the video to have no fear. Play with your shoulders back and your head up and we will beat them; play with fierce determination and fantastic self-belief and if we do that we will beat them. You must have no fear.

"At which point I took off my shirt, tracksuit bottoms and shoes. It was freezing cold. I stared down the barrel of the lens. 'You must have no fear.'

"And with that I walked into the river in my pants. It was like something out of a Monty Python film. Off-camera behind me, someone was walking their dog and looked at me in amazement. I walked down the steps and dived in to completely submerge myself.

"The water was freezing. As soon as I went in I wanted to get back out straight away. My body was so cold. I shivered, came out and looked down the lens of the camera again.

"I put on my clothes and then started to run along the embankment into the distance. It was very funny, the players loved it. There was passion, self-belief and I had done it on the enemy's territory on their side of the river."

The game finished 3-3 after extra time before the Reds won it on penalties.

One Flew Over the Magpie's Nest is available online now at www.nottscounty1862.co.uk/order/ or at the Notts club shop from Saturday.

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That's brilliant , crazy but brilliant , mad dog indeed , for me and I have seen many games over the years against the 'the enemy within our city' , that game will live long in the memory , we were class our fans were class , just loved the night , maybe mad dogs methods aren't so crazy , maybe truely motivational , top bloke in my opinion 

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Happy days under Mad Dog, I know some feel he used his 'funny side' to distract from results but he never stood for nonsense and always made his team work hard. I have a lot of respect for him and the various rumours is quite funny, as I'm sure he's got a tale or two hidden a way elsewhere.

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