So after what seemed like a good Christmas period, it seems that Notts County have gone into switch off mode ever since.
We set off the year with a positive result against Port Vale winning 1-0 at home. We then went on to proceed to the 4th round of the FA Cup against Swansea City after a sublime strike from Jon Stead against Brentford put us into the pot for the next round.
With morale seeming to be at an all time high at Meadow Lane and coming into the new year with bags of confidence, it didn’t seem like anything could stop Notts.
So where did it start to go wrong?
Well, we ended our unbeaten home record against Exeter City who quite frankly couldn’t buy an away win at the time of beating us. That put a real gloom over Meadow Lane and I think it hit the players hard that we are still beatable at home and we should not let standards drop.
However that message clearly didn’t get through.
Outrageous behaviour from Ross Fitzsimons 3 days later, to put it straight, cost us two points. Crawley were a good side in form and having a point from that match looked like a good result.
So after 2 consecutive defeats at Meadow Lane and sickness from Matt Tootle I think the players and manager were knocked down a few pegs.
We then won 4-1 in front of a record home crowd against Crewe Alexandra, which was such a positive performance I think everyone left that game with a smile on their faces.
Then... an embarrassing display of football saw us lose 8-1 to Swansea and then lose to Barnet who are bottom of the league 1-0. This was the confirmation fans needed to know that County were officially in a slump.
Although Tuesday brought about a 2-1 win over Carlisle United, the performance nonetheless left question marks and doubts remain going forward.
How do we fix it?
So our next 3 fixtures are as follows:
Newport County vs Notts County
Cambridge United vs Notts County
Notts County vs Stevenage
So out of these next three games, if we are still serious about promotion we need to be looking at 6 points out of a possible 9.
In my opinion we should be looking at wins across the board, excluding Newport which look a real unit at the moment, especially at home.
Cambridge are currently without a manager and by the time we play them I think it will still take time for their players and manager to gel.
As for Stevenage, well they are a bang average mid-table team. We need to pick up points now, as we enter a vital period for a promotion push.
Who can we rely on?
This is bound to spark a debate in the comments but this is my personal opinion of who I think is going to be crucial in the run up the end of the season.
Mason Bennett – I know he got injured at Barnet but I would hope we could see him back fit for the start of March even for the Stevenage game if we’re lucky. His pace is frightening for League Two defenders top cope with and I think him and Jorge Grant could be a real threat and kill off games early which is what we need to do.
Matt Tootle – He can defend and attack and can always mark a striker with pace. He puts in 100% effort and can really change a game and flip it on its head. His quality in defence in attack can help link up play in areas we could maybe use to our advantage.
Noor Husin – Well this lad is superb, his passing ability is amazing in my opinion and his work rate is fantastic. I think Husin, Grant and Bennett could really work well together and for a young prospect he has some real talent and could possibly go on to be a class midfielder. His cutting edge passes and long shots could be something Nolan looks to take advantage of.
After being away from the site for a while due to work I am keen to get back in touch with PON members and create more content to get a response from fans and see what they think. The question I want to ask you PON members is, Who do you think can turn this slump around? Let me know in the comments below and I hope to be writing another piece soon.