Kevin Nolan says summer signing Kristian Dennis could be in line for his first Notts County start on Friday night.
The striker was left out of the squad for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup trip to Middlesbrough to work on his fitness ahead of Yeovil Town’s visit to Meadow Lane.
And Nolan says that extra work means fans could see Dennis start under the lights when Notts return to Sky Bet League Two action.
“We kept him back because we felt he had a real chance of starting on Friday,” Nolan explained.
“He’s been on the periphery of the first team in the opening games and we manage all of the players’ fitness carefully, so we felt if we took him on Tuesday he might not have been ready for Yeovil.
“We got him to do more running earlier this week because he’s a bit behind some of the boys so by keeping him back we’ve given him more chance of starting on Friday night.”
Dennis’ progress gives the gaffer lots to ponder up front.
Kane Hemmings is getting closer to peak condition after racking up his first 90 minutes last weekend and Jon Stead grabbed two goals in midweek.
And Nolan was full of praise for the latter’s performance at the Riverside.
He added: “Stead scored two great goals as well as providing a lovely assist for Tom Crawford, and it highlights his fitness levels that he played on Saturday and Tuesday and is ready to go again on Friday.
“We’re lucky to have him – he’s brilliant for the dressing room, he really cares about this club and his team-mates, and he sets the tone in training most days.
“We’ve got two other really good strikers in Kane and Kristian and they can learn a lot from him.”
Friday’s match is the first under the lights at Meadow Lane this season, and Nolan hopes fans take advantage of the ticket offer put on by chairman Alan Hardy.
“Alan never ceases to amaze me,” he said. “£10 tickets (£12 on matchday) is a fantastic offer and I urge everyone to ask their mates to come along because there’s nothing better than this place when it’s rocking.
“I love being here at the Lane, especially under the lights, and I think this is the best stadium in the division.
“We all need to stick together and get this bandwagon rolling with a win on Friday and set the tone for the rest of our season.”
To grab your cheap tickets for the game, click here, visit the Meadow Lane ticket office or call 0115 955 7210.
Season ticket holders can bring a friend for free – simply visit the club shop before 6.30pm on Friday to redeem the voucher included in your season ticket pack.