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Reflection and something that needs to be said


ARLukomski
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Before I get into it, I agree with what IB said in yesterday's interview about us having chances we should have taken in the first half and Grimsby being the better team in the 2nd half. That is correct. He's changed it up before earlier in the season, when we went on a bad run and I hope we change it up again. However something needs to be said about us a whole. 

I don't think we act like we want to go up. We are regarded as a "big fish" in this league and we need to start acting like it without the self entitlement. No less than 100% every week. Other clubs who were relegated into this league had that mentality: Leyton Orient, Tranmere, Bristol Rovers etc. Other teams who had this further up the system: Bolton in League Two last season, Villa in the Championship, Newcastle in the Championship. 

We've got to realise and the players have to realise that we're Notts County in the National League and being 8th is unacceptable. I don't think we have the self entitlement like a certain Wrexham, but it's more a self congratulatory mindset of "we've been on a good run that'll do" kind of thing. It's the sort of thing where we go "Oh it doesn't matter, we'll still score in a bit or we'll get points next game." We're allowing ourselves to take the foot off the pedal too many times. No less than 100% on and off the pitch to get out of this league. 

The club needs to look at itself and realise it's unacceptable to be "just hoping to get into the play-offs." Not being cocky or arrogant, but we are the biggest fish in this league and scraping into the play-offs isn't good enough. I'm not saying either that we should be beating teams in this league just because we are a bigger club than them. I'm saying that a lot more hard work and a ruthless mentality, is needed to achieve promotion and win against whoever the opposition is. It was the same throughout last season and we only really got going in the second half of 2019/20 as well,. There's not been a siege mentality of hard work and high standards for a long time and it needs to change. 

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Well said. Since we've been in this league, I've missed the absolute ruthlessness you need to win a championship. We've taken the mindset that we're building for success. While this is laudable, it becomes all too easy to see success as a future goal rather than something we could be celebrating in May.

2 hours ago, ARLukomski said:

The club needs to look at itself and realise it's unacceptable to be "just hoping to get into the play-offs." Not being cocky or arrogant, but we are the biggest fish in this league and scraping into the play-offs isn't good enough.

This is true, but with all the postponements this season it's been difficult to see where we actually stand. We've spent a fair portion of it between sixth and eighth, but with a points average very close to 2 points per game (championship-winning form), but games in hand. The trouble with games in hand is that if you lose them, you find yourself trying to scrape into the play-offs again. Just like last season.

The solution? A kick up the backside and us winning all our remaining games, maybe?

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i think we build momentum to a point we are actually a good team, but then something disrupts it and that motivation [or whatever] is lost. We seem to struggle to bounce back from poor results, much like notts did earlier in the season.

the majority of games this season i have felt we have voiced our support to a point it makes meadow lane feel intimidating for visitors.

it would be nice to see the more than just kyle cameron attempt to spark chants, the whole squad should be doing it. there was a point when the whole ground went silent and the game became tense, i do think the players need to motivate themselves as much as we fans do.

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The biggest issue is compliancy.

Ian Burchnall isn't responsible completely this for this, majority of it would fall onto the players shoulders.

It would be nice if Notts could be more ambitious without throwing caution to the wind, most fans have identified that we need a striker and I do think its time we played Eli Sam more, he doesn't always fit into the system. Bringing him on in the last 30 minutes, or if height was needed is fine.

The midfield is by far the best Notts has had for years, defensively we could be a lot better. On paper the defence should be doing a lot better to see out games, I think Alex Lacey has been quite poor since his return from injury. I am not convinced Richard Brindley should feature as part of the three at the back. I would say we miss the fight and determination of Dion Kelly-Evans. It's almost like the players and club have resided to settle for the playoffs.

If improvements aren't met, this could be more of a challenge than the reason why we departured with services with Neil Ardley.

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Being a " big fish in a little pond" attitude might actually be the problem.  We are certainly not a big fish in any terms  we are where we are for a variety of reasons. No team in the land has a right to do well, they earn it...we are not earning the right

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I think you have to look at the character of the dressing room. Having nice players, tidy footballers and 'wanting to win' just simply isn't good enough to win a title.

There has to be a nastiness to you. Once you cross that white line, it's got to be everything to win. The last time we won a league, Ricky Ravenhill and Neal Bishop were monsters in midfield. Not necessarily the best technically (particularly Ravenhill), but they would do and give everything to win. Combine that with sheer ruthlessness of Lee Hughes, the brutal force of Lee/Steady Eddy and the energy/tenacity of Luke Rodgers, it's not hard to see why we were so difficult to play against. 

Wootton is a good player, but he doesn't give defenders a hard time or a battle. If they don't let him get involved, that's it, battle over. He also isn't a prolific finisher; he scores goals, but he doesn't finish with any type of ruthlessness and often requires a few bites of the cherry. The players in and around him are flair players and blow hot and cold. A finisher - a Lee Hughes - would flourish in this side. Instead, we got Mitchell, which looked a mistake then and hasn't changed in the last 6 months. 

There's too many nice characters in our squad. Lacey, Brindley, Chicksen, Francis, Nemane, Wootton, Sam, Slocombe... all lovely fellas, but none that have that extra spark that is needed to win leagues. Players like Roberts, Cameron and Rawlinson are examples of players that have that little bit of an edge to them and I believe that is one of the biggest flaws in our squad; too many poodles and not enough pitbulls.

 

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I disagree that we are the biggest fish in this league, Stockport, Wrexham and Chesterfield are the teams that have invested heavily this season and on paper they’ve got the best 3 squads in the league in my opinion. And teams like Grimsby and Southend are two very well supported clubs as well. I don’t think we are the standout team in this league, but we are definitely one of the bigger teams who should be competing for promotion.

We seem to be fine at home and in the big games we’ve generally competed well, it’s going away to places like Altrincham and Wealdstone where we have a tendency to just go through the motions, I can’t really offer any solutions other than we need to treat it like we would a home game. We’ve got quite a few of those type of games in the run in, maybe the pressure of needing the points will kick us into gear a bit more.

I’d agree finishing 8th is probably unacceptable (depends on the scenario, could a nightmare with injuries etc) but I don’t think being 8th right now is a total disaster. 10 points off the top, not great but with two games in hand best case scenario it’s down to 4 points with 17 games left! Worst case two loses and Boreham Wood wining all their games in hand then finishing top probably is gone (fingers crossed it's the best case scenario)

I’m not burying my head in the sand here I realise we’ve been far from great last couple of games bar Barnet, but things can change very quickly in football. The best time to go on a run is at the end of the season, we could still do that.

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