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Notts County boss Luke Williams pursues perfection in National League campaign


Notts County boss Luke Williams is relentlessly pursuing perfection, having amassed 100 points and 106 goals this season. He was pleased with Friday's 3-0 win over Wealdstone at Meadow Lane, but remained critical of his side's first-half display, despite Sam Austin's sublime finish on eight minutes putting his team in front at the break.

Halifax Town's Milli Alli played a starring role as they upset the odds to beat Wrexham in a significant game for the National League. The Magpies have been matching Wrexham stride for stride throughout this campaign, and continued to do so with a comfortable win over Wealdstone.

Despite the scoreline, Notts County faced some nervy moments in defence during sustained pressure from Wealdstone in the middle part of the first half. This forced Williams' side to play long, departing from their usual possession-based style of play.

Williams remains determined to see his team thrive in the remainder of the season, pushing for the playoffs as Notts County continue to play their part in this remarkable National League campaign.

"To be honest, we were up against a team that played an incredibly high line." Said the Notts County boss, Luke Williams.

"When the keeper comes out to advance with the ball, there is no space to play football, and they were very brave in doing that, so then we tried to exploit the spaces in behind them.

"Once you do that, if you do not capture the ball behind the lines you have to then jump and press them, so it became a game of two teams with very high lines, very brave in their play, and willing to press each other.

"At times, it was the most sensible thing to go more direct but, I don't think that we did that quite well enough, but the guys recognised that situation, and we study this kind of thing, so I think the decision was right to play more direct at times, but probably the execution was a bit wrong."

Ahead of Monday's crucial match against Wrexham, Notts County was without three players in their matchday squad against Wealdstone. Among the absentees was goalkeeper Sam Slocombe, with Archie Mair stepping up to put on another impressive display in his place, showcasing his confidence and composure gained from his previous three league outings.

"I am the only head coach in the National League for sure with three first-choice goalkeepers," Williams said on the decision that awaits him on Monday afternoon for the trip to north Wales.

"I am very lucky, but also I have a big headache, but it's fantastic really because who wouldn't want to have three goalkeepers who all play so well?"

Defender Geraldo Bajrami and Ruben Rodrigues were the other two players absent from the matchday squad. Rodrigues was forced off during the win over Altrincham due to the difficult playing surface. Ahead of the upcoming fixture against Phil Parkinson's side, Williams provided details on their involvement.

"Baj has played incredibly well but we monitor the fatigue score, and his was quite high, so I felt in order for us to have the maximum for us to pick from, we need to remove him from his duties today, but he trained before the game, so we can monitor what he is doing and give him the correct workload.

"And Ruben trained as well this morning and trained brilliantly with no reaction, but we need to undergo a different type of training with him tomorrow to see that we can tick off everything if he comes through before the game on Monday."

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not just a tactical genius but a mastermind of mind games! luke williams is a very calm and coy manager. you have to love and respect his style. :D 

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I think Luke Williams has done incredibly well to take the pressure off and protect his players. I thought it was negative of him to say it was over, but in hindsight, I can see it's just him trying to shield the players from expectations or getting carried away.

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Luke Williams has done well with handling the media this season. He's much better at it than the likes of Neal Ardley or Ian Burchnall, although both of those were nice guys. Williams' knowledge is infectious, and I think it is rubbing off on the players.

His ability to communicate effectively with the media is an essential skill, and it's clear that he has a good understanding of what is required. His confidence and knowledge of the game come across in his interviews, and it's evident that he has the respect of the players.

It's great to see a manager who can handle the pressures of the media and still maintain a positive attitude. This can only be good for the team, as it helps to create a more relaxed and confident atmosphere.

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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