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Chris Buckley: 'Notts County must not let their good start go to waste'

Despite having to reflect on the Forest Green Rovers game quite early, I wanted to take time to reflect on the game – which like most Notts fans I wasn’t very impressed with.

There’s no denying that we have had a great start to the season, and along with Kevin Nolan picking up the League Two Manager of the Month award for September it really does highlight the amazing progress we have made so far.

However, it's not been nice seeing us struggle to a side that is at the foot of the table and seeing a lot of issues within the game which honestly continues to nag me now.

I can write the last two performances off quite easily, yet I strongly feel that the past two games are a wake-up call and that the club must go back to basics, whilst working hard on the training ground just to iron out the last two performances.

Kevin Nolan himself has openly admitted that the players simply didn’t turn up against Forest Green, whilst also adding recently that ‘nerves’ may have affected the team’s performance.

During his post-match interview, he said: "I'm relieved, fair play to the lads, they persevered and got their rewards in the end with a well-worked goal.

"I don't think we turned up today, which is disappointing. A lot of lads didn't have one of their better days but the togetherness they showed got us over the line and earned a point, which they can take a massive lift from."

Don’t get me wrong here, I found it hard to celebrate the goal because it felt like we had dropped points. I honestly don’t believe we deserved the goal, despite having worked harder towards the end of the second half.

I feel we robbed Forest Green Rovers, and I just hoped for a better response after Mansfield.

I’m unsure how there’s anything remotely uplifting about the performance, it’s not a massive lift – again we as fans have been let down.

Certainly we are still in a very good position and I’m not remotely wanting to be negative, yet I urge a sense of realism because the progress made simply can’t go to waste.

The hard work which has seen us turn around the massive land slide of last season has brought a lot of optimism and I really am enjoying the season.

That said, I can’t ignore the backwards steps we have made and just how poorly Notts County defended against Forest Green.

"As a management team we will sit down and think of ways we can help the players, I just felt on Saturday we went away a bit from the tempo we usually play at. We played to Forest Green’s instead and we didn’t exploit their weaknesses." Nolan added.

For me it was a complete role reversal, and FGR made us look like the team stuck at the bottom of the League Two table.

We had little tempo, going forward we looked like a side without confidence or faith within their own decision making on the field – whilst at the back we just allowed a side that does have a very capable midfield to look even better.

However, I do agree with Nolan that we simply didn’t exploit Forest Green's weaknesses and their defence is exactly that – we should have been pressuring them but instead we ended up pressuring ourselves.

Are we in trouble? I wouldn’t say so but I am concerned about how we have failed to respond after the stagnated performance against Mansfield – this weekend’s result feels worse in a way.

I just don’t want to see the hard work undone, however this would be typical of Notts County.

It’s just after all the recent issues within pre-seasons we must not underestimate the current progress, and it will require more focus from letting it slip – I hope each player believes that we are capable of containing this success of this season.

Now let’s bounce back by regaining our focus, Barnet will be a difficult test for Notts but Meadow Lane can be the encouragement the players require at this point in time.

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i agree with everything you have written here @Chris.

personally i am concerned because of how poor we have been and the fact the defence is mostly the same as last season, can they pick themselves up? i think it will take a few games. this will cost us our good form it does not get resolved quickly.

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6 minutes ago, liampie said:

i agree with everything you have written here @Chris.

personally i am concerned because of how poor we have been and the fact the defence is mostly the same as last season, can they pick themselves up? i think it will take a few games. this will cost us our good form it does not get resolved quickly.

We'll be better off regardless mate, though I think it would be a shame to nose dive like we have previous seasons - I honestly think Kevin Nolan needs to make some changes myself.

Get them fighting for their place and reward the consistent players a little more.

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We had little tempo, going forward we looked like a side without confidence or faith within their own decision making on the field.

Spot on!

We rely heavily on Jorge Grant to add the spark but he has been very quiet in recent games. Kevin Nolan must inspire the players as they do seem to have forgotten how to play based on Mansfield and Forest Green.

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