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Rise to the occasion

Ardley wants a reaction

18 April 2019

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Neal Ardley says Notts County need to show their bounce-back ability when they host MK Dons on Good Friday.

His side did exactly that when they followed a poor performance at Cheltenham in early March with a 3-1 victory at play-off chasing Carlisle three days later.

And after a disappointing display at Crewe last week, Ardley wants to see the same sort of reaction on Good Friday.

“A performance like that halts your momentum,” said the boss. “But football is a game of ups and downs and it’s about having the character to respond to these things.

“It’s not what you’ve done, it’s about what you do next. We’ve got to play with freedom and energy, focus on ourselves and win the match.

“We have to draw on the performances against the teams at the top. We’ve given Lincoln, Mansfield, Forest Green and Bury good games, so we have to be positive.”


With two fixtures in quick succession over the Easter weekend, Ardley wants his side to prove the display in Crewe was just a bad day at the office.

“We need to make sure we get the basic elements right because in the previous five games our performances were very good,” he said.

“We’ve got to get some positive results and put some points on the board in the next four matches – all of the players want to go out there and do their best and now we need to rise to the occasion.

“If we get our performance levels right, we can give anyone a game and then it comes down to the fine margins.

“If we have a positive weekend it can give us a very good chance.”

MK Dons will also be looking to bounce back from defeat last week – their second in a row – and Ardley wants to see his side handle the pressure of needing a result.

“They’ll come here knowing what they do well has got them to the top end of the league,” he said. “Paul Tisdale will just want them to replicate that.

“For us it’s a bit different because we have to handle the position we are in, which might brind some pressure on our players.

“But we have to give credit to the boys who are here. Plenty of people decided against joining us in January because of the situation but those that came in did so knowingly.

“The group we have now saw it and still said ‘Yes, I’ll come and fight and give it everything.’

“The boys are having a go for the club and that’s why I want everyone to try and get behind them and help them through the last four games because I think it will make a difference.”

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