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We were up for the battle

Manager pleased with hard-earned point at Sincil Bank

13 January 2018

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Kevin Nolan hailed his side’s team spirit as they claimed a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Lincoln City.

Jon Stead’s third goal in as many games had given Notts the lead but goals from Lee Frecklington and Matt Green looked as though they would give the Imps all three points until Jorge Grant popped up with his 17th goal of the season to secure a draw.

And the manager was thrilled with how his men battled their way to the final whistle under constant bombardment from the hosts.

“The lads were absolutely fantastic,” he said. “It was a battle and they stuck in there. We couldn’t get going with our fluidity today but these lads have got camaraderie, togetherness and determination to come away with a very good and respectable point.

“When you come away to places like Lincoln you are going to be put under pressure and they are going to put balls into the box from all directions.

"You have to make sure you are up for the battle and we were – we more than matched them and handled everything they threw at us.

“It’s another fantastic result and we’re looking forward to another biggame next weekend against Exeter.”

The game saw Nolan hand a senior debut to Matty Virtue, the young midfielder who joined the club on loan from Premier League giants Liverpool earlier in the week, and the manager believes the best is yet to come from the new signing.

“It was always going to be tough for him and we knew that,” said Nolan. “He probably hasn’t played in too many games like that on pitches like that, coming from under-23 level.

“I said ‘Welcome to League Two’ to him in the dressing room and brought a wry smile to his face.

“But he handled it magnificently today. He couldn’t get into the game to show the quality he has but that will take time, as I said when he signed. This will make him as a player, he will learn from it and become better from it.

“There’s still a lot more to come from him and we will help him with that."

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