- Be sure to share your views with us - by doing so you'll help support the site!
- Notts County issue 2019/2020 retained list
- It's in the 'blood', Black and White Army Playoff Build-up
- Preview: The National League playoffs
- Can Notts County end nearly 30 years of hurt?
- Supporting Notts County in the Playoffs with fan flags
- 7 brand new exclusive Notts County mobile wallpapers
- Notts Season in Focus: 1997-98
- ARLukomski's verdict on Notts County's win over Eastleigh
- Faces of PON: Notts County vs Eastleigh
- Notts Player in Focus: Kyle Wootton
Hi all. Hope you dont mind me entering this debate and I did attend the game on Saturday. Firstly just want to say that if we appeared a little exuberant on the day it wasn't meant in any disrespectful way. For most of us it was the effect of playing in a proper football ground against a proper football team. It was also a proper football match and when you come out on top in those circumstances its always memorable. My reason for posting was simply because I'd also come to the conclusion that Ian Evatt had specifically targeted Doyle a fact that IE confirmed after the game as he saw him as both a very good player and the pivotal link between your defence (which looked vulnerable) and your attack (which looked very potent). Effectively denying space and harrying the midfield in particular in the second half denied your forwards any decent ball and they didn't actually do much wrong. Other teams may now look at this as a means of countering County though on Saturday the plan worked perfectly partly because of the two early goals. Bear in mind also we had no game the previous Saturday and had clearly done the homework. It also looked a bit like County tired towards the end - the pitch was in good shape but with the recent weather would've sapped energy. We had a serious problem when Evatt joined us last year in that he brought a very attractive attacking style of play to the club which looked really good until we came up against bigger more physical sides who were able to counter and expose a more fragile defence. To this day we will struggle more against a Halifax or a Solihull than we will against a Bromley or a Notts County. So there may be some similarities with County itself currently. The lessons he eventually learned and the primary reason why we have improved significantly is that he had to introduce a Plan B to sacrifice some of his preferred flair, pace and attacking intent by developing the strength and physicality of the defence/midfield. This, like it or not is the hallmark of the division. Didn't change things massively but invested in building capability in central defence and restructuring the midfield and create more defined sweeper (Jason Taylor) and play maker (John Rooney) roles. The difference this has made has been significant. Everyone points to the forwards like Quigley or Angus as scoring more goals but its the service they receive without massively compromising defence that is really the difference. Hope i'm not preaching but the message I guess is dont flay your forwards for not creating chances; having Thomas, Booty, Wooton and Dennis you are the envy of many of us. But they cant do much if they re not receiving quick ball. For the Barrow stalwarts it was the closing down of space in midfield that was the most enjoyable aspect of our game. Notwithstanding it was nice to be able to re-engage with a club I haven't watched (Iive) in 50 years and I hope to make the trip up to HS for the return. If any of you can remember as far back as 1970 I can tell you that road into Barrow has changed dramatically but unfortunately the ground hasn't. For those that will make the journey and wanting a beer or a meal suggest you head either for the Duke of Edinburgh hotel or the Railway Tavern. Both are within easy walking distance of Holker Street. Best of luck for the rest of the season.