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Chris Buckley: Sky Sports League Two title prediction is testament to Notts County progress

This week, the biggest sports news company in the world officially backed Notts County to win the League Two title.

The Sky Sports League Two Predictor believes that the Magpies will finish top of the standings ahead of the likes of Luton Town, Coventry City and the other big sides in the division.

My initial reaction was yet again to pinch myself, as the 2017-18 League Two campaign really has been something much different than previous seasons and it’s something which I hope isn’t just the start – I hope it’s the beginning for more to come.

It also seems like Notts might be turning a small corner in the way that people view the club, I actually feel like we have returned to being the family club we've always strived to be and youngsters are seeming to buy into this also.

Being in a good position for promotion from League Two will naturally help, yet I feel we are becoming a fairly trendy side to support and although I would point out that it’s early days, I actually feel much of this is down to the takeover of Alan Hardy, as without him we wouldn’t have the right type of young manager at the helm.

Kevin Nolan certainly adds a lot of interest and I think this is shown even more so by how he’s linked within various clubs managerial positions.

But yeah, seeing the club tipped for promotion by the sports giant Sky – it seems so surreal.

Even seeing the club return back to first place is something that seems different, as usually we don’t have this much luck – in fact the recent draw against Stevenage would have perhaps seen us fall down the table previously.

Yet we have managed to remain top, even after a fairly frustrating dry spell too – so this says a lot about the current ambitions for the club.

I’ve been saying for a while just how much difference the hard work that goes into the club makes, and if we as fans are right – well, being where we are right in November is an excellent place to be.

Quite a few people have said to me that Notts haven’t given up a lead once we reached this point in the season, and I very much hope they’re right.

Christmas will be the spell where we will know more, yet I have faith that we can maintain pressure on promotion this season. Provided we can continue to grind out results, yet improve and move away from the relapses within the starts to games.

I’m not going to dwell on the route-one stuff, as I feel it’s being said more than enough now but we do look very good passing along the turf.

And as I mentioned earlier, I hope that this point is the beginning for more to come.

I honestly feel like the foundations are good and people care passionately about the club – not just in terms of us fans but the people who continue to restore the pride and traditions of this club.

Stability seems like a long time due, and if we continue to see players recognised within the Team of the Week – along with Kevin Nolan in contention for the Manager of the Month award(s), than surely Sky are onto something with their backing.

Although it’s flattering to be tipped for the League Two title, we still have more than half the amount of games left to be played and that’s a long way to go.

I’m just mindful of the expectations and added pressure, I just feel like it doesn’t change what we left to do. Nolan and his players just have to crack on with each game as they come, whilst avoiding disruption.

I’m quite content to enjoy the roller coaster remaining positive with regards to where we might finish, facts like these are nice but play no motivation towards me getting carried away at all.

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If only we could stick to playing a passing game we look capable of beating anyone but just hoofing it we put ourselfs under so much presure i.e.Stevenage 1st half v the 2nd half 

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I'd still be happy with a play-off place at the end of the season. Some might be a bit disappointed as we've spent nearly half the season in the top three, but it would still be huge progress. Besides, we've never really pulled clear of fourth place anyway. At the start of the season I was hoping for top ten but fearful we'd end up knocking about in 17th again.

I don't think we have enough to win the league but I reckon we'll be there or thereabouts come the end of the season, because even when we're not on our game we're still difficult to beat.

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest league 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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