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Ardley: Missed chances changed the game

Boss reacts to derby defeat

8 December 2018

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Neal Ardley rued missed chances and a poor second half display following Notts County’s 2-0 defeat to Mansfield Town on Saturday.

A goal in each half from CJ Hamilton earned the Stags all three points in the Nottinghamshire Derby – the Magpies’ new manager’s first league game in charge.

But Ardley felt the result could have been different had Notts converted their openings before the break.

“We had two big one-on-ones and we have to take them because those are the moments that change games,” he said.

“In the first 35 minutes or so our gameplan worked very well and we had three or four excellent chances which could have made things so different.

“We weren’t good in the second half and I don’t know whether that’s an issue with mentality or physicality but it’s something we will work on.”

The opening goal of the game came from a cross, which has been a regular issue this season and something Ardley is looking to address.

“We’ve worked hard at defending against balls into our box so it was disappointing to concede like that,” he said.

“It’s not just stopping the cross, it’s defending them when they do come in which we have looked at in training.

“Our issue is that we concede too many goals. We want to maintain an attacking threat, though, so we need to find the balance of keeping clean sheets without just sitting back.”

Despite the result, the gaffer is confident that results will take an upturn – not least because of Kane Hemmings' and Jon Stead's involvement at One Call Stadium.

Ardley said: “There’s lots we’ve got to sort out but we need to work hard and we will get it right.

“It was a tough game to start with but there are good players at this club and I’m confident that we will turn it around.

“With Kane and Steady back in we have more firepower and we’re going to work hard to improve all the things we need to.”

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