Lead professional development phase coach Craig Gordon says Notts' Under 18s have been 'outstanding' in training ahead of their FA Youth Cup fixture on Friday evening.
The young side travel to Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium in the first round of the competition with the hosts winless in league games so far this season.
And Gordon says the occasion is spurring the players on, who have shown extra enthusiasm in training.
“They have prepared differently,” he said. “We’ve demanded more from them and they’ve expected more of themselves which is outstanding to see.
“They’ve trained at a high tempo with real enthusiasm and their learning and understanding of our game plan has been first-class.
“We’ve tried to treat this like any other game but everyone is really excited because they look forward to this occasion all season.
“They get to play under the lights at an EFL stadium which is a massive appeal for them and a great experience.”
Gordon’s side are looking to bounce back from two straight defeats and he wants his players to show their ability on Friday night.
“Recent results mean there is an extra incentive but things haven’t been horrendous,” he explained.
“We’ve dominated games but need to be more ruthless and this is a chance for the boys to do it on a bigger stage and prove their worth to everyone at the club.
“This is a big opportunity to kick-start the next stage of their development.”
Gordon is hoping to welcome back some key players against a team he feels will be difficult to break down.
He said: “Walsall are very organised and functional and look to set up two solid banks of four, so we need to move the ball quickly.
“They’ll try to hit us on the break but the focus is on ourselves because we feel we have enough quality to win the game.
“Kion Etete and Corey Bucalossi will be back with us after playing for the Under 23s on Tuesday and hopefully Tyreece Kennedy-Williams returns after starting in the Checkatrade Trophy last week.”
Tickets are available on the day, priced £5 for adults and £3 for over 60s and under 18s.