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  1. October is now done and dusted, we're a third of the way into the season, and Notts County remain top of League Two! The month just gone proved a little bumpier than the almost perfect September, but nonetheless the Magpies got through it well enough and ended it on a high note. In this article, Pride of Nottingham recaps all the biggest stories from Meadow Lane and elsewhere in the Notts world that happened in October 2017. October 3 - Alan Hardy described Kevin Nolan as "a star of the future" after the Notts manager was nominated for September's League Two Manager of the Month award. - Kevin Nolan hit out at a "ridiculous" festive fixture list for Notts County this season which includes a trip to Morecambe on Boxing Day and a journey to Swindon Town three days later. October 4 - Notts announced that club record goalscorer Les Bradd was to donate £1 from every sale of his forthcoming book, Far Post: A Striker’s Tale of Scoring Goals and Breaking Records, to the beneficiaries of the CEO Sleepout that took place early in the month. October 5 Kevin Nolan expressed his delight with Shola Ameobi's return for Notts County from a hamstring injury, but insisted that he wouldn't rush him back into action. October 6 Kevin Nolan was named the League Two Manager of the Month following a near-perfect September for Notts County. October 7 Kevin Nolan gave a positive assessment of Michael O'Connor's rehabilitation from a serious knee injury describing the midfielder as being "in a good place". Notts County claimed a point against Forest Green as Rob Milsom struck in the 96th minute to give his side a 1-1 draw at Meadow Lane. October 12 Notts confirmed that Liam Noble, recently released by Forest Green, had returned to Meadow Lane and would be available for selection from January. October 14 Notts County returned to winning ways and sat at the top of League Two once again following a 2-1 win over Barnet at Meadow Lane. October 16 Kevin Nolan confirmed that goalkeeper Adam Collin had suffered an injury against Barnet and was to be sent for a scan on his knee. Notts County were handed a home draw against Bristol Rovers in the first round of the FA Cup. October 17 Notts suffered a 2-0 defeat away at Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night which knocked them off the top of League Two. October 20 Alan Hardy revealed that Notts County have complained to the Football League over their fixture list this season. October 21 Alan Hardy spoke out in favour of the introduction a safe standing area at Meadow Lane and said he was eager to consult fans on the topic. Notts County fought back from a goal down to claim a 1-1 draw in Saturday's League Two encounter at Carlisle United. October 23 Kevin Nolan confirmed that Adam Collin has suffered ligament damage and is likely to be out for between two and three months. October 25 Notts County fell to a 2-1 defeat against Mansfield Town in their EFL Trophy Group G clash at Meadow Lane on Tuesday night. October 28 Notts County returned to the top of League Two thanks to an emphatic 3-0 win over Newport County at Meadow Lane on Saturday. October 31 Alan Hardy revealed that additional turnstile checks at Meadow Lane on Saturday for Notts County's game against Newport County were put in place to stop people using "tickets to which they are not entitled". Share your thoughts about this news roundup 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. In terms of Notts County fixtures, October is now over and done with, and it's been a case of mixed fortunes this month. I wrote at the start of the month about how a relatively easy month on paper could have caught the Notts players out due to complacency and, at certain times, it seemed like that's just what happened. So from 5 League Two games - a possible 15 points - we've got 8, but crucially finished the month on a high note with a much improved display and a 3-0 win over Newport in the last game. What would you rate the month out of 10? Let us know!
  3. Two months into the season and Notts County are flying high. Top of League Two, joint-second highest goals scored on 21, joint-third lowest goals conceded on 11 (and just over half of those came in our two "blip" games). What makes it all the more impressive is that there have been some really tough games in August and September - very much make or break. And credit to Kevin Nolan and the players (and Alan Hardy) it's been a case of "make". August gave us two teams relegated from League One - one a bitter local rival - and a solid team boasting the very awkward Adebayo Akinfenwa. September, meanwhile, gave us the remaining two relegated sides, the Prawn bogey team, and two more East Midlands rivals. And despite this run, Notts got through these months in fantastic fashion. Now, into October. On paper, this month is a lot, lot more straightforward. The first three teams (Forest Green, Barnet and Crewe) are all in the bottom six at present, before the long-haul Carlisle away day and, to finish off the month (once we get past the meaningless EFL Trophy game with Mansfield), Newport at home, a team that, to their credit, has begun the season well, but remain short of quality. The key words here are "on paper". Fixture-wise, this month will need Nolan to really put his "no complacency" mantra into practice. And my view is that the first two months of the season, where the manager has seen players out of the starting XI or even the squad for dropping standards, will have served as good preparation for the next four weeks. Maybe the defeat at Field Mill could also prove to be a blessing in disguise. The whole of September was outstanding and, in a way, us fans got a little "used" to winning. Maybe the players ended up taking the foot off the pedal in terms of mentality and, lo and behold, the Stags had our pants down. A rude awakening, but one that will jolt the team back into the right frame of mind. Already there's talk on the forum of FGR being a team that we "are going to slaughter". Based on form, league standing and player quality, it would seem the case, but already we have lost half the battle by thinking this way. Remember, Mark Cooper is an ex-Notts manager and historically they have got their own back on their former employers. Arguably the biggest sub-plot of the weekend's game, that of Liam Noble returning to his old stomping ground, seems to have been put on ice given that FGR have ruled him out sans return date due to medical issues, but if he does end up playing, there's that age-old "former player returns to haunt his former club" which fate almost always springs up (hell, we saw it ourselves when Terry Hawkridge bagged his first for Notts against, who else, Lincoln). So in a nutshell, an easy month on paper is very much a potential pitfall, so Nolan will arguably be given an even sterner test this month - motivating a player to be 100% against a Coventry or Exeter is not as difficult as getting the same percentage against a Barnet or Newport. Over to you boys - don't get complacent, or the amazing start we've had so far in 2017/18 will end up being an irrelevant memory like all the great starts we've had in recent years. 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.

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