Forest and County

A new dawn for Magpies with Nolan’s arrival at Meadow Lane?

Notts County finally parted with manager John Sheridan last week, after a run of 9 consecutive losses had seen the Magpies drop from the play-off positions to just 1 point outside the relegation zone.

A 4-0 hammering away to Cambridge, managed by ex-County boss Shaun Derry, put the nail in the coffin for the under pressure Sheridan, with the board deciding a change was needed to try and turn the club’s fortunes around.

Alan Smith was put in temporary charge as caretaker manager, where his one game resulted in another thrashing away from home, this time Morecambe claiming all three points with a 4-1 win which consigned County to their 10th straight league defeat.

A second half goal from Jonathan Forte was the only consolation in a dismal performance, in which County were dominated despite the home side being down to ten men for the entire second half.

The terrible league form, which could potentially see the Magpies drop out of the football league for the first time in their history, along with off-the-field issues combine to represent some of the worst times in the club’s 155-year history.

However, things could be looking up for County, after local businessman Peter Hardy completed his takeover of the club in January. County are currently under transfer embargo and face a winding-up petition from HMRC, but Hardy has promised to settle these outstanding debts.

Hardy took just one day into his new tenure to appoint Kevin Nolan as the club’s new manager. Nolan, who’s only other managerial experience came at Leyton Orient, where he stepped down as manager, is seen to be the man to keep County up by the new chairman.

Nolan faced a tough start as manager, as his new side took on local rivals Mansfield down at NG2, with the former West Ham, Newcastle and Bolton player hoping to secure County’s first win in the league since October.

In front of 11,328 supporters County’s largest attendance of the season so far – Kevin Nolan’s side mustered a 0-0 draw against the Stags on his debut game in charge of the League Two side.

There were encouraging signs in the Magpies’ performance for the former Leyton Orient gaffer to be pleased with. Nonetheless, Nolan will need to hit the ground running if County are to have any prospect of clawing their way out of trouble. Otherwise it could mean relegation from the EFL for the oldest club in the English football pyramid.

Jimmy Moorhouse

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