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Chris Buckley: Let's keep spurring Notts County on as momentum keeps building

Yesterday whilst appearing as a guest on BBC Nottingham’s Match Talk, I was asked the question by David Jackson - "is it time to believe in promotion yet?"

It’s a question which I have asked fans myself, and it's one which the majority seem unsure how to answer.

Myself, I always remain optimistic about any season, especially as the table is still taking shape - but the 2017-18 season does seem special.

I also recall a discussion that was started by PON member Liampie which asked “Should we avoid getting carried away?

At the time I felt similar, although I would say I was more quietly optimistic.

I could already sense a ‘positive vibe’ around Meadow Lane that just felt that season could be very different, I always tend to warn caution to the fans I know – yet it’s difficult when things are going in your favour for once to play down the fact Notts could gain promotion.

It’s still very early days within League Two, however I do believe we as supporters should try to really get behind the team.

In our match against Lincoln City, it was brilliant to see so many fans being vocal about encouraging the Kop to sing and once the home support had silenced the away end (the opposition fans didn’t really do much did they?) – it was one of the most enjoyable experiences that I had had in a number of seasons.

Not just purely because our lads controlled the second half well, or due to Lincoln continuing to try to get something from the match – despite all hopes.

It was more so because everyone around me - and I moved around the Kop as I watched the game - was fully enjoying themselves and I honestly feel it made a huge impact on the way that Notts played.

It’s also good to see that we have a bench made up of players who could start regularly and the fact we have a manager who can make several changes now that he knows who forms the best starting 11.

Another point made by David Jackson was the amount of luck which we had, as any fan will know we have had a tendency to attract opposite previous seasons.

Yet the striking difference this term is how hard-working we are as a team, this was visual against Swindon Town – a game which the majority felt we didn’t quite have the power to shrug them off, but we did manage to keep them mostly quiet.

I felt extremely proud during that game, as for once it seemed like we had a team which would protect the lead at all cost. A team that would run, scrap and work hard for their manager.

It’s still very early days, and I would echo the discussion myself and Joe Jones had in the latest Pride of Nottingham PONcast – things can change differently, yet whilst the squad works hard and puts in those determined performances – no matter what happens on the pitch, we will always be better off, and I think that is the prime example of what we have witnessed so far during the 2017-18 season.

Kevin Nolan has done a fantastic job keeping the players focused, he takes things game-by-game.

The Exeter win will have instilled further hope and ambition within my fellow supporters. However, let’s make this season less about luck and more about the passionate, free-fighting squad that gets the right results.

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Edited by Chris

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Kevin Nolan has done a fantastic job keeping the players focused, he takes things game-by-game.

This for me! Kevin Nolan doesn't get carried a way and I think it helps him get the best out of the players.

Good read Chris.

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Well Forest are moaning about them being a progress in the making team, but I think this is best describing Notts right now. There is no quick fixes in football but what we have done is gone back to basics and through hard work things are looking very good at the moment.

I haven't know a season like this yet, I just hope Mansfield doesn't ruin things.

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Who would have thought this? I was concerned after the opening day defeat, but taking 25 points out of the following 27 is amazing. Obviously we can't sustain it. Sooner or later our bubble will burst, we'll lose again and possibly go on a bad run. It's how we respond to that that'll determine where the journey takes us.

Nolan's work at the club so far reminds me of Warnock. Neil Warnock was never particularly big on the tactical side of things, he emphasised a positive mood among the players and a real team spirit. Our players are in a very good place mentally. We have a good mix of no-nonsense players who can do a job in this league (and who were never as bad as they looked under Sheridan) and real flair. Let's hope Kevin Nolan turns out to be a Warnock and not a Derry.

Before the season I felt we'd fall short, but who knows? The 25 points we've picked up so far won't hurt us. Another 15 wins would get us into the play-offs. The players need to keep their feet on the ground but there's no reason for us fans to.

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I'm aware of fans who say he plays route one like Big Sam, however I don't really recall how we play but provided we are winning the performance can be worked on. It would seem like we can click in second halfs, probably due to the fact we are aware of how sides will try to hit us.

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We do play a lot of the big boot to be fair, more than we did under Allardyce. There's a lot of belting the ball up to Stead, who distributes it to Alessandro or Grant. During the season we'll need a plan B for when that doesn't come off, but our squad gives us plenty of options on that score.

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