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Joe Jones
Joe Jones

Joe Jones: Notts County are well placed to return to form in February following fruitful January transfer window

For the second year in a row, Notts County have been busy in the final days of the transfer window.

Last year, the Magpies exited the transfer embargo with just a few days left to go and were able to bring in several players, many of whom were loanees (including Jorge Grant - how did that one work out again?) plus Mark Yeates joining permanently.

This time round, the whole Ryan Yates debacle has largely been put behind us with the acquisition of Noor Husin, who was superb against Swansea City and has been tipped by Alan Hardy to improve as he gets more accustomed to the league to the point that Yates' absence will no longer be felt.

Matty Virtue has also been brought in on loan from Liverpool and although he may need a little more acclimatising to the rigours of first-team football, he is also a very highly rated player - you'd need to be to captain the Under-23s team.

Oh, and of course Liam Noble, although signed last year, was registered in January upon the opening of the transfer window. Seems like an age away now following all that happened since.

This month the wear and tear from the overload of fixtures has shown in the defence with Matt Tootle, Richard Duffy and Shaun Brisley missing the odd game, so a reinforcement at the back was a necessity.

Hardy promised and he delivered, with Ben Hall joining from Brighton & Hove Albion on loan. Another captain of his club's Under-23s team, Hall got a fair bit of first-team action - 18 games, according to Transfermarkt - at previous club Motherwell but hasn't been used by Chris Hughton as of yet, so like Virtue, he may need a little acclimatising to senior football.

And then came the long, nervous wait for a forward to bolster the ageing and war-weary attacking ranks, which ticked past 11pm and left many fans increasingly nervous. But once again, the signing was made, as Mason Bennett arrived for a temporary stay at Meadow Lane until the end of the season.

Bennett is very highly rated by the Rams fanbase, many fans saying he's a superb player that has just been unlucky with injuries. But the fact he's featured this season in the Championship, the EFL Cup and even the FA Cup, against Manchester United, means he is clearly highly rated by Gary Rowett.

On the whole I am satisfied with the month's transfer dealings. Let's face it, we were never going to sign a key player from another lower-league team with the season still in full swing, but the players that have been brought in are all young up-and-coming prospects who will learn from County's elder statesmen and in turn give them a little respite from time to time - after all, we're likely to clock up more than 50 games this season in all competitions.

The FA Cup run has been superb but the bread and butter of the league has been disappointing in January, so fingers crossed the signings will not only slot in seamlessly and give the team a bit more quality, but also ensuring that the older players in the team can be used more sparingly and as a result will show more of their own quality when they do play.

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Just need to crack on and, form the hark work which we had prior to the two league defeats. I think the signings are the best that we could manage and I think we need to be thankful for having the positions covered.

Give all the players a chance, let's get behind 'em and see what happens.

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yes its going to be a challenge the last two home defeats we could have certainly done without, if possible we need to win every game this month and im sure Nolan and team will be thinking that way too. com on u pies lets be havin um


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