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  1. 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. 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. 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 first month of 2018 is now out of the way (it seemed to last forever didn't it? -JJ) and it's been a pretty topsy-turvy January as far as Notts County are confirmed. An amazing run in the FA Cup tempered by a poor showing in League Two, while Ryan Yates's premature departure was followed up by not one but two midfielders arriving at Meadow Lane. And that's before we talk about the long, anxious wait for a striker on transfer deadline day! In this article, Pride of Nottingham recaps all the major news stories from January 2018. January 1 Notts County claimed their second win in three League Two games after Jon Stead scored a late penalty to secure a 1-0 victory over Port Vale on New Year's Day. January 4 Liam Noble stressed that his "head is in the right place now" as he prepared to begin his second spell at Notts County, being registered at the opening of the January window. January 6 Notts County put in a superb performance to beat Brentford 1-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Griffin Park. January 9 Notts were drawn against either Swansea City or Wolverhampton Wanderers at Meadow Lane in round four of the FA Cup. Haydn Hollis left Meadow Lane to join Forest Green Rovers. January 10 Nottingham Forest recalled midfielder Ryan Yates, going on to send him on loan to Scunthorpe United. January 11 As a replacement, Matty Virtue was loaned from Liverpool. January 12 And Noor Husin then followed suit, joining Notts permanently from Crystal Palace. January 13 Notts left Sincil Bank with a point after Jorge Grant struck the equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Lincoln City. January 15 Notts County confirmed that the 2017/18 early bird season ticket price will be frozen for those who renew next season. January 16 Notts were given confirmation by Nottingham Forest that Jorge Grant will be able to stay on loan at Meadow Lane for the remainder of the season. January 20 Alan Hardy revealed that Notts County are quarter of a million pounds inside their budget at present. Notts lost their superb unbeaten home record in League Two after fellow promotion chasers Exeter City claimed a 2-1 win at Meadow Lane. January 23 Notts suffered a second League Two home defeat in the space of three days as Crawley Town emerged 2-1 winners at Meadow Lane on Tuesday night. January 26 Notts announced the departure of Curtis Thompson on loan to Wycombe Wanderers until the end of the season. January 27 Notts held Premier League side Swansea City to a 1-1 draw in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round encounter at Meadow Lane. January 29 The winner of Notts v Swansea was drawn to face Sheffield Wednesday away in round five of the FA Cup. January 31 Notts recruited Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben Hall and Derby County forward Mason Bennett on loan on transfer deadline day. Share your thoughts about this news recap 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.

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