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Another physical battle

Clark anticipating tough test against league leaders Rotherham

1 September 2017

Simon Clark was encouraged by his side's 2-2 draw against Lincoln City in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup last weekend and is now looking forward to a trip to Rotherham United.

Having been beaten 4-0 by the Imps on the opening day of the season, Notts put in a much better showing second time around and took the lead through Alex Howes in the first half before finding themselves 2-1 behind to a deflected strike and a penalty.

However, the resilience of the young Magpies shone through and Kole Lambert's last-minute equaliser earned a draw.

But Clark insists it was just rewards for a strong performance from his side, rather than a late smash-and-grab.

"Scoring in the last minute to get a 2-2 draw may seem like we have snatched it, but prior to that we dominated the ball and created a lot of good chances," he said.

"We've had three one-on-ones, which we should have done better with, but our performance was good.

"They had nine players starting from the 11 which beat us 4-0 at the start of August so you could see a real progression in our lads which was the most pleasing aspect for me."

What also pleased the lead professional development phase coach was the reaction to going 2-1 down, a stark contrast to when some of the players "went missing", in Clark's words, against Mansfield Town the week before.

"They went ahead with 20 minutes to go and we could have stopped doing what we had done well," said Clark. It went a bit niggly after they scored but we got through it fairly quickly, kept the ball down and looked to be incisive.

"Kole Lambert has been really bright since returning from an ankle injury and he was quickest to react to the ball hitting the post to score the equaliser."

Table-topping Rotherham United provide the opposition for Clark's team this weekend and the 50-year-old wants to see his side continue their progression following another strong week on the training field.

"We've been training at a really good level and had a good outing against a Reading under 20 side in midweek, which we lost 5-3," he said.

"It was an opportunity to test ourselves against a Category One academy and give minutes to those who haven't had as much as they would have liked so far this season.

"We're expecting another physical battle against Rotherham. We'll have to be right at it and if we can win five out of 10 rather than two out of 10, we'll give ourselves a chance.

"I've been delighted with the standards the lads have set themselves so hopefully we can take it into the game and we'll be okay."

In transfer news, Curtis Hall has been recalled from his work experience loan at Ilkeston Town.


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