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  1. Matt Tootle has described the atmosphere in the Notts County dressing room as the best he has ever experienced - but before Kevin Nolan came in, he says it was the worst. The Magpies began the year within touching distance of League Two's relegation places and on a losing run which would stretch to 10 games. However, since Alan Hardy came in as owner and Nolan followed, Notts rallied round, secured Football League safety, and could now go top of the fledging 2017/18 table with victory against Accrington Stanley. County go into Friday's game at Meadow Lane on the back of three successive wins and an impressive performance against Wycombe Wanderers where they won 4-2 at Adams Park. “It is the best atmosphere inside a dressing room I’ve experienced in my career,” Tootle told the Nottingham Post. “Before the gaffer came in it was the worst but he’s turned it upside down. “There are no cliques and we are all one group. And every lad who has come into the club during the summer has said that they’ve never come to a dressing room and been made to feel so comfortable. “Everybody is so welcoming and the lads are really enjoying coming into training. The lads are getting on like a house on fire.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  2. The "slug" celebration from Matt Tootle in Notts County's win over Wycombe has gone Twitter famous. Honestly can't understand the meaning of it. I mean, I've done that before, but usually it's when I go through the front door at 4am on a Sunday morning eight pints and five double rum and cokes deep.
  3. We've made a lot of signings this week. Six, to be precise. And now Notts have stepped up their recruitment drive, the question on everyone's lips is, how are we going to line up against Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday? There may be some difference in opinions in the formation that we use throughout the season, but I'm going to stick with 4-4-2 as we used that nearly all of the time last season when Nolan took over. Starting in goal. Adam Collin seems like the obvious choice and whilst most of our fans don't like him much, it's hard to see Fitzsimons or Pindroch replacing him just yet. Matt Tootle has the right-back spot sewn up sweetly. If he avoids the injury problems he had last season he could play every league game. I don't expect Jordon Richards or Nicky Hunt to start much at all this season. The left-back spot is easy. Dan Jones will easily displace Carl Dickinson. The ex-Stoke man was very error-prone last season, especially when he consistently allowed opposition players into the box unchallenged. It was obvious we needed a new left-back and he needed to have pace, something Jones has and Dickinson doesn't. Centre-back has plagued us for a few seasons now. The last two especially where we conceded 83 in 15-16 and 76 in 16-17. For me Shaun Brisley has to start. He played in the Peterborough team that reached the League One playoffs a few years ago and we're crying out for stability at centre-half. Richard Duffy has been a lot better since Kevin Nolan came in. For me he beats Hollis to that first team spot alongside Brisley. Duffy, for me, was better under Nolan in the second the half of last season than Hollis was and is just a better player in my opinion. I would like to see Pierce Bird play a few games this season. He seems like a good prospect and someone who I think definitely has potential. Onto the wingers and for me it has to be Jorge Grant and Lewis Alessandra. Grant showed last season he is a quality player, especially for this level and has an abundance of creativity. He could very easily hit 10-15 goals for the 2017-18 season. Alessandra has much needed pace which Notts have been begging for, for a few seasons now. I think Nolan can get the best out of the former Hartlepool man. This pushes Terry Hawkridge to the bench but I still see him playing a key role in creating chances for the Magpies. There is also the option of playing these three together behind a lone striker. I don't see Elliot Hodge featuring regularly unless key players pick up injuries. Sam Osborne has great potential but isn't ready yet and a loan spell out to gain first team football is what he needs. Moving into the centre of the park, there are several options to choose from. Rob Milsom, Elliott Hewitt, Liam Walker, Curtis Thompson and Ryan Yates. It's obvious we will miss Michael O'Connor. As captain he led by example and played a massive part in Notts climbing the table. He formed a great partnership with Milsom and in my opinion, Milsom should keep his place in the starting eleven. He is good at pressing teams and is a neat and tidy passer and very calm in possession of the ball. In my opinion, Liam Walker should start alongside him. Walker is more of an attackive minded midfielder and his long shots and set pieces will be a danger to opposition teams. Elliott Hewitt is getting better by the day. He looks at home in the centre of midfield and moving him there from his right back slot could prove a solid decision. Ryan Yates is more of a box to box midfielder and when played, could be very useful in linking defence to attack. I don't see Curtis Thompson playing many games this season and his persistent injury problems haven't helped him at all. Alex Howes is a another player who I see getting loaned out to gain more first team experience. I don't expect a permanent central midfield pairing. I think Milsom, Hewitt, Walker and Yates will all have their turn in the starting XI. Finally, we move into the final third. Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi signed new contracts in the summer and unless we sign a striker before opening day then it will be them two starting up front. As a strike partnership, they have shown they can be effective but not spectacular. Ameobi is a very good player for holding the ball up and this can help bring other players into the game such as Grant and Alessandra as well as Stead. Despite being 6'3, Stead likes the ball more to his feet and Nolan is the first manager, since the ex-Huddersfield man joined Notts, to realise he isn't a target man. He has done very well to score 25 goals in the last two seasons but he is 34 and Ameobi is 35 and it's clear we need someone younger up front who can take us further up the table than my current prediction of 10th. For me we still need a striker if we're going to break into the play-off places. Jonathan Forte can be an asset but breaking into the first team next season will be difficult for him especially if we sign another striker. I prefer him as a striker to a winger but was utilised more as the latter last season but still managed 10 goals. Whilst he only scored 2 in 23 at Crewe, Callum Saunders looks like one for the future. I've heard that his movement is very good but he needs to work on his finishing. My starting XI for Coventry: Collin, Tootle, Duffy, Brisley, Jones, Grant, Milsom, Walker, Alessandra, Stead, Ameobi Squad GK - Adam Collin, Ross Fitzsimons, Branislav Pindroch, Joe Searson-Smithard RB - Matt Tootle, Jordon Richards, Nicky Hunt LB - Dan Jones, Carl Dickinson CB - Shaun Brisley, Richard Duffy, Haydn Hollis, Pierce Bird W - Jorge Grant (RM), Lewis Alessandra (LM,RM), Terry Hawkridge (RM,LM), Elliot Hodge (RM), Sam Osborne (RM) CM - Rob Milsom, Elliott Hewitt, Liam Walker, Curtis Thompson, Ryan Yates, Michael O'Connor (INJ), Alex Howes ST - Jon Stead, Shola Ameobi, Jonathan Forte, Callum Saunders Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!
  4. Alan Hardy has praised Matt Tootle after the defender opened up about his mental health struggles and pledged to do more to ensure players are supported at Notts County. The 26-year-old spoke about his battles with anxiety and depression earlier on in his career, admitting he "thought about ending it" and receiving treatment at the Priory Clinic. "It takes a lot of guts and it was very brave of him to speak about it," Hardy told the Nottingham Post. "To a degree, I've got a lot of affinity with what he was saying. People who know me, know that I'm not necessarily a level person; I'm up one day and down the next. "I'm not comparing myself to Matt Tootle, but I've experienced a little bit of living in highs and lows. And when that low becomes even lower, then I can certainly identify with how low he must have got. "It's very sad. The problem with mental illness and depression is that when you're at that point, hardly anybody can help you. It has to come from within and you have to dig really deep. "I haven't seen (Tootle) since he did that interview, so next time I see him I will certainly be shaking him by the hand and saying, 'well done for digging deep and getting yourself out of that'." Asked if clubs are more aware now about mental health issues among players, Hardy said: "No, I don't think they are. I don't think we are here. "It's something which I'll be taking with John Wilson, our chief medic, about in the summer; about how we can identify what's going on with the players and whether we should be having some sort of psychological coaching to make sure the guys are in a good place. "If you're not in a good place mentally, you've got no chance of performing well out on the pitch. I don't think as a society we do enough. It's something that we need to look at. We need to make sure we do more to really help those players. But Matt has done fantastic to come out and say what he's said, and to get himself back on top." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
  5. Matt Tootle has gone on record to say that he wants to continue playing at right-back for Notts. He told the Nottingham Post: "Quietly I think I had a good season, even though I played everywhere under Shez (Sheridan). "I couldn't really gain any consistency and I kept telling everyone I needed to be right-back. "I thought my best game was at home to Peterborough and then the game after I was right wing. "Once I've got right-back people have seen that I got consistency and I will only get better and better. "As long as I am fit, and doing well, I will be first choice. I've just got to continue where I left off." Do you agree with him? Should he carry on at right-back? Or do you think he should be deployed elsewhere?
  6. Matt Tootle has claimed that Notts County are more than capable of challenging for promotion from League Two next season. The former Crewe Alexandra man had suggested last summer that the Magpies could have been up in the playoffs, but the season ended up being a slog for safety in the end. Tootle told the Nottingham Post: "When I signed here last summer I probably looked a bit of an idiot to some people because I said we would get promoted. "We were third at the start of the season even though we weren't playing very well. "But the class we had in the team, and the players we had, we knew we weren't playing to our ability. "But we were winning games because we had that experience and that bit of quality was coming out now and then. "Then something went wrong over Christmas and I don't know what it was. "I believe if we still had something to play for then we wouldn't have lost two out of the last three. "The Pompey game would have been different too if we had been closer to the play-offs. "So looking at next season with the right additions I think we will be up there. "I won't look stupid this time by saying it. Every team we played, the opposition would say that our team on paper was ridiculously good. "If we can continue what we were doing and keep sticking to how the gaffer wants us to play, we will challenge I am sure of it." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
  7. Notts County defender Matt Tootle has opened up on his battles with anxiety and depression, saying nobody is immune from mental health struggles and urging people to seek help. The 26-year-old revealed how he had enjoyed a superb season at Crewe Alexandra going into the summer of 2014, but "something then just triggered" in his mind while he was on holiday in the off-season. Speaking during Mental Awareness Week, Tootle told Leigh Curtis of the Nottingham Post: "I was on top of the world. There was talk of a move to Blackburn, Burnley and Nottingham Forest and as any player who has been at Crewe will tell you, and given the club's history, it's all about 'that' move. "I went on holiday and something then just triggered in my mind. I was reading the newspapers and there was so much bad news happening to good people. Then I just started thinking deeply about life and how you can be happy at one moment but knowing it can all change in an instant. "It hit me a bit and I just started panicking, thinking I hope that doesn't happen to me. Those thoughts then become obsessive and they snowball. Anxiety took hold and in the end you keep on recycling those thoughts over and over and over again. It was the worst week of my life. "After that I returned back to Crewe for the following season and I played 16 or 17 games and just wasn't at it. What was going on in my mind was just too important. I was sweating, hiding in my own house and it just got ridiculous. It got to the stage where it was affecting my reputation. Crewe fans were probably thinking 'why is he rubbish all of a sudden?'. "I eventually told my mum and she said I just needed to give myself a break. I told Steve Davis, who was the manager, and the physio about what I was going through. "The fans had no idea what was going on and they probably thought I was trying to force a move because it was the end of November and I just stopped playing. "But I went to the Priory Clinic and they then sent me for cognitive therapy. If you have any kind of anxiety or anything like that, if you can begin to understand it then you can deal with it." "We should be talking about this every day let alone one week of year. The problems with mental health is that you can't see it. "If you see some guy with a broken leg in casualty and there's another just sat there with his head in his hands, you think the guy with the leg is worse because you can see he's in pain. But people suffer in silence and this is what we've got to address." Read the entire Matt Tootle interview on the Nottingham Post by clicking here. Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
  8. Name: Kevin Nolan: "The players have surprised me" Category: Official Notts Videos Date Added: 2017-04-08 Submitter: Chris The manager speaks to Leigh Curtis of the Nottingham Post after the 2-1 win at Brunton Park against Carlisle United. Kevin Nolan: "The players have surprised me" Why not subscribe to PrideofNottinghamTV?
  9. The manager speaks to Leigh Curtis of the Nottingham Post after the 2-1 win at Brunton Park against Carlisle United.
  10. Name: Highlights: Notts 1-0 Barnet Category: Match Highlights Date Added: 2017-03-20 Submitter: notts-joe The best of the action from Meadow Lane as Notts County hosted Barnet in Sky Bet League Two. Highlights: Notts 1-0 Barnet Why not subscribe to PrideofNottinghamTV?
  11. The best of the action from Meadow Lane as Notts County hosted Barnet in Sky Bet League Two.
  12. Name: Matt Tootle: "Not resting on our laurels" Category: Official Notts Videos Date Added: 2017-03-20 Submitter: notts-joe The defender speaks about the importance of staying focused after scoring the winner in the 1-0 victory over Barnet at Meadow Lane. Matt Tootle: "Not resting on our laurels" Why not subscribe to PrideofNottinghamTV?
  13. The defender speaks about the importance of staying focused after scoring the winner in the 1-0 victory over Barnet at Meadow Lane.
  14. Matt Tootle is optimist that a "strange season" for Notts County can end on a high note after moving 11 points clear of the League Two drop zone. The Magpies put in an immense performance to claim a 1-0 win over Barnet at Meadow Lane on Sunday, Tootle scoring a second-half winner. Kevin Nolan's charges were visibly exhausted at the end of the game, having been a man down for most of the game after Mark Yeates was sent off early on by referee Keith Stroud. Tootle told the official Notts site: “I’ve scored a few in the league but that’s my first one in a while. "It was a good first one for Notts and, the way the game went with us only having 10 men, I think it was a great time to get it. I was made up to get the goal. "Driving here today I knew how important the three points were for us and I’m over the moon with how it’s gone. “Of course we aren’t mathematically safe and, although teams down the bottom are struggling to win also, we aren’t resting on our laurels until we're fully safe. "The gaffer has been really putting us through our paces in training. The work we are doing at the moment has set us up for the busy schedule - we are fitter than we were two months ago and I felt we looked like the team with 11 men at the end today. “As a defender you want clean sheets and even today with ten men we looked really organised and strong as a unit. That’s testament to the gaffer coming in and doing the work with the lads. “We want to finish as best as we can. If we can win another five or six this season, which we are more than capable of doing, we can end what has been a strange season on a high note." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat.
  15. Notts County's revival continues to gather pace as the League Two relegation zone is now 11 points away, thanks to the Magpies claiming a 1-0 win over Barnet on Sunday despite falling down to ten men early in the Meadow Lane encounter. With just 11 minutes on the clock, Mark Yeates was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Ricardo Almeida Santos that referee Keith Stroud deemed worthy of a sending-off. The Notts fans in the stands could have been forgiven for expecting the worst, but Kevin Nolan's charges did not let their numerical disadvantage get to them. Barnet striker John Akinde then tried to win a penalty minutes later when he appeared to be hauled down by Notts goalkeeper Adam Collin, only to be booked for simulation. The hosts managed to create chances with Marc Bola going close on two occasions from distance, and at the break, the deadlock had not yet been broken. It would get better for the Magpies early in the second half as Jorge Grant teed up Matt Tootle, who lashed a superb finish past Benjamin Buchel for his first goal in black and white. Barnet fought back in a bid to claim an equaliser and could have levelled when substitute Ruben Bover Izquierdo blazed over from eight yards. With the game stretched, Grant could have got himself on the scoresheet when he raced onto a fine Shola Ameobi pass, but he curled wide, though ultimately it did not matter. Share your thoughts about the Notts County game against Barnet on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat.

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