We make the long trip to the Cumbria coast this weekend in the hope of scalping the league leaders.
Barrow come into the match with a five-point lead over second-placed Harrogate, who’ll be hoping we can do them a favour before we lock horns in a hotly-anticipated Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final double-header at the end of the month.
Ian Evatt’s side have taken seven points from the last possible nine as they continue their cruise towards the title, while we’ll be looking to build on Tuesday’s big win at Fylde to banish our inconsistent league form and mount a charge for the top three.
Our players feel they’ve got a point to prove after suffering a 3-0 defeat in the reverse fixture so a fascinating clash between two strong teams awaits.
Neal Ardley says…
“Barrow are the best team in the league and their staff have really got something going there.
“They’re brave and attacking but their work-rate underpins everything they do.
“We’ve got to be ready to answer the questions they ask but there’s no way I’m going to go there and just try to defend and not play football.
"At a crucial stage of the season we need to try and keep momentum and it's a great three points if we win."
Ian Evatt says…
“It will be a big crowd and atmosphere - and I think it will be a good game.
“Notts County will obviously respect the fact that we are top of the league and they’ll probably want to put one over on us, with us winning so convincingly at Meadow Lane earlier in the season.
“I do feel like they are tactically built for us, in terms of their formation and the way they play. It kind of plays to our strengths, so hopefully we can perform to our levels.”
The boss has stressed the importance of rotating his squad, not only this weekend but throughout the run-in to the end of the season, so changes are likely from the side that ground out an important win on Fylde’s boggy pitch on Tuesday night.
Alex Lacey and Damien McCrory have both returned to training and could be fit enough to join the travelling party, while recent arrival Scott Wilson will be hoping to claim his first start for us after having to settle for appearances off the bench against Aveley and Fylde.
Barrow, unlike us, have near-enough a clean bill of health and could regain the services of influential wing-back Brad Barry, who’s missed their last three games through injury.
They could also hand a debut to Welsh Under 21 international Jack Vale after the forward joined them on loan from Blackburn Rovers earlier this week.
Head to head
This will be the 12th league meeting between the clubs, with only one of our previous matches ending in stalemate.
Barrow boast six wins from our league encounters so far but we’ll be hoping for a repeat scoreline from our last visit to Holker Street, when we emerged 2-1 victors from a Division Four match in December 1970.
Notts wins: 5
Barrow wins: 7
In light of the government's campaign, and as a precaution, pre-match 'fair play' handshakes between players and match officials will not take place in the National League until further notice.
Similarly, customary handshakes between captains and match officials ahead of kick-off will not be required.
Referee - Andrew Miller
Assistant Referee 1 - Jonathan Maskrey
Assistant Referee 2 - Nicholas Hawksby
Fourth Official - Glen Hart