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Strong side to face Everton U21s

Nolan on the hunt for victory over Toffees

15 August 2017

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Kevin Nolan insists his side will be taking the Checkatrade Trophy seriously as they begin their campaign at home to Everton Under 21s.

The Toffees take on the Magpies at Meadow Lane on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).

And, having won the Premier League 2 title last season, they are sure to provide stern opposition.

"I am expecting a tough game because they will have players out there with league experience," said Nolan.

"They won their domestic league last year so this will not be a rollover for us. We have a job to do and we will put a strong side out ourselves.

"We are taking it seriously and will hopefully get off to a good start which will get us on a run of winning games."

Nolan is looking to use the fixture as an opportunity to showcase the depth and quality of his squad with competition for places hotting up by the day.

"It's a great opportunity for those who didn't play at the weekend to put their best case forward about being ready for this weekend," he said.

"For me to ask those who played 120 minutes at Scunthorpe to go again for another 90 so soon after pre-season would have been difficult.

"Having the flexibility and competition within the squad suited us and was why we got a fantastic result at the weekend.

"After getting a win and a clean sheet on Saturday it's now about us getting a positive and winning mentality."

The manager wants to build a strong relationship with the Blues given their status as a Category One club but hopes to be sending them back to Merseyside empty-handed for personal and professional reasons.

"I'll have a chat with David Unsworth after the game and if any of his players become available in the next couple of weeks I'm sure he'll make me aware," he said.

"If there is someone who catches our eye we will be able to have a conversation about it. It's good that we will be able to speak face-to-face because that's when you get the best answers.

"I played a lot against him [Unsworth] during my playing career so it will be good to see him again.

"Hopefully, as a Liverpool fan, I will be able to get one over on Everton!"

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