Student supporter James Constantine brings us his latest blog on studying in Nottingham and supporting Notts...
I must first off this week start by apologising for the lack of a blog last week. Having thought I had escaped the perils of ‘fresher’s flu’ it appears it finally caught up with me for the whole of last week. Illness aside, I am now in my final week of my first ever term at University but the football does not stop too, and a busy Christmas will bring tough tests for the Pies.
The first game this week comes on Tuesday night courtesy of a 1-1 draw I witnessed a week last Saturday at the brand new New York Stadium. After a bright start by Notts, I could not help but feel the match fell into a game of attrition, wearing down each other till the 90 minutes came. I expect similar things tomorrow night at Meadow Lane, but this time I expect a win.
The draw away at Aldershot created some apathy towards our replay against Rotherham; one cannot help but fail to be excited by an away trip to the Recreation ground. Without any disrespect to Aldershot however, Notts are presented with a fantastic opportunity to get into the fourth round of the FA Cup with Budweiser, for which we have had a great record in the past few seasons. The chance to draw one of the bigger teams and generate money for the club can only be positive as well as providing something a bit different to Notts fans, not to mention the great memories I have from FA Cup games both home and away to Manchester City and away at Fulham.
Whilst the FA Cup presents fantastic opportunities, so does our upcoming run of fixtures over the Christmas period. Games against Brentford, Stevenage and MK Dons are sure to be close run affairs with Notts certainly looking to pick up near maximum points to be sitting healthily come the start of January. A point against Yeovil was certainly not the best result but another clean sheet and Notts still not seemingly firing on all cylinders, I am confident that the best of Notts has yet to be uncovered this season. The great news of Manny Smith’s return should give Curle some tough team selections with the potential to see Gary Liddle finally move into midfield and with Notts constantly active in the scouting networks and transfer markets, I am sure one or two changes may occur in January.
With all this in mind, the League One table remains tight and just one good or bad spell of games could make a substantial difference. Notts sit healthily, knowing they can achieve more and I am sure that Curle will be continuously pushing these players to achieve more and reach success in both the League and FA Cup. As I make my final journeys into the library to finally finish a term’s work, I am sure things for Curle and Notts are just starting to warm up and the next few weeks will be season defining.