Four games into the Nolan/Hardy era and things are looking up for County. The Magpies are unbeaten in 3 home games – suffering just one defeat at the hands of Grimsby, County have managed to move out of the relegation zone.
After bringing in his old pal Shola Ameobi and making himself available to be a player manager, Notts County’s squad now features a wealth of ex-Premier League talent.
The likes of Jon Stead, Alan Smith, Ameobi and Nolan are all footballers that used to ply their trade in the top flight of English football. Are these players what is necessary to get out of the precarious position County have got themselves in?
Ameobi made his debut against Cheltenham at the weekend, in a 2-1 victory for the Magpies, and there was certainly an increased buzz around the stadium.
As die hard fans stood with their cups of Bovril and Pukka Pies you could feel the genuine excitement as County were about to witness the ex-Newcastle striker, boasting a somewhat unimpressive record of 79 goals in 397 games, take to the pitch at Meadow Lane.
His performance, whilst unspectacular, was enough to suggest that he could prove himself to be an important signing for County come the end of the season. His hold up play was generally good and he offered a couple of flashes of skill that got the got the crowd on their feet.
“A squad featuring multiple ex-Premier League players well into their 30s is by no means a long term solution for County. But the evidence is there at present that it could help them to remain in the Football League”
Nolan is yet to feature on the team sheet for the EFL’s oldest club but he too generates excitement for fans as, despite being 34, he played football to a very high standard for many years.
If he were to make as big an impact on the pitch as he’s been making off the pitch then County may well find themselves heading in the right direction and away from trouble.
Top scorer Jon Stead scored again at the weekend to take his tally for the season to 11. After recent revelations that he had a move to the USA blocked by the new manager over the January transfer window, it really does suggest that he is one of Notts County’s key players. He will surely be an integral party of the League Two side’s bid for survival.
A squad featuring multiple ex-Premier League players well into their 30s is by no means a long term solution for County. But the evidence is there at present that it could help them to remain in the Football League.
With young players such as Adam Campbell and Curtis Thompson showing promise, County can hopefully blend experience and youthful exuberance and turn it into a winning combination.
Staying in the league would certainly give County a foundation on which they can build upon. So for the time being the older players in Nolan’s squad could be pivotal in their quest to achieve it.