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Ready for battle

Mentality is there, says Ardley

11 April 2019

Neal Ardley says his Notts County players are ready for battle as the end of the season approaches.

He takes his side to Crewe this Saturday for another crucial clash in the Sky Bet League Two relegation fight as the Magpies look to go three matches unbeaten.

And, ahead of the trip, Ardley praised the physical and mental improvements he has seen from his players in recent weeks.

“The boys are as focused and as fit as they have been all season,” said the boss.

“I believe they are ready to go out and battle for five matches and give everything they have to do what we need to as a club.

“I feel we can finish the season strongly because we’re trying to build momentum and we’re getting somewhere now, so we hope that continues over the next four weeks.

“What matters is maintaining the status and history of this club and making sure the fans are celebrating come the end of the season.”

Macclesfield’s midweek victory over Exeter saw them climb out of the dropzone and sent Notts to the bottom of the table, but Ardley is keen to avoid reading too much into results of the Magpies’ relegation rivals.

“You can get wrapped up in it all, or you can just keep focusing on what we do,” he said.

“Macclesfield’s win means the points total we need to get to might be a little higher, so we just have to stay committed to reaching that.

“Where we are now doesn’t matter a great deal because there will be twists and turns – I don’t mind being in the relegation zone right up until 3 May, as long as we are out of it the following day.

“We can’t look any further ahead than the next game in our calendar. We just have to concentrate on our next opponent, fight for the result and maintain focus for the last five games.”

Crewe’s home record is among the best in the division so the gaffer is hoping the travelling Notts fans, which are expected to top 1,000, can spur his team on to upset the odds.

“We’re going into their den, where they are confident and very good,” said Ardley. “It’s going to be a really tough game and we’ll have to play exceptionally well to get anything from it.

“Our travelling supporters can create the atmosphere you need to win in a situation like that and over the last few months they have got right behind us and clapped everything.

“If they turn up in the numbers that are anticipated, we’ll do our very best to feed off them and give them something to cheer about.”


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