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To the letter

Boss pleased with application of gameplan

9 February 2019

Neal Ardley says his players carried out their instructions perfectly during Saturday’s 2-1 win at Forest Green.

The Magpies earned their first victory of 2019, and the manager’s first away from home, thanks to goals from Jim O’Brien and Enzio Boldewijn at The New Lawn.

And Ardley was pleased to see his tactics applied in the way he had intended.

“I said to the lads ‘if we do our homework and you carry out the gameplan then we’re a good combination,’ and the lads did it to the letter today,” said the boss.

“The aim was to come away being two matches unbeaten and we produced some great flowing moves and could have scored five or six.

“I was pleased with the game management. We defended well and limited them and when you compare that to the one-on-ones and guilt-edged chance we had, it shows there’s a lot right about the make-up of the side.”

The result saw Notts pick up three points for the first time since mid-December and Ardley was pleased with the way his side responded to Joseph Mills’ equaliser.

“Even though Forest Green scored we still felt we had another three or four chances in us,” he said.

“We selected a brave line-up today with three centre forwards and a winger against a side who like to dominate the ball so those boys had jobs to do out of possession.

“There’s a new group of players here that have come together very quickly so people are having to push to get into the team.

“Standards have risen and we need to make sure they keep doing that on a Saturday afternoon.”

The gaffer isn’t getting ahead of himself, though, with another tough test on the horizon next weekend.

“It’s a start,” said Ardley. “We need to keep our feet on the ground and not get carried away.

“We’ve played two of the top teams and more than matched them – no one can say we didn’t deserve to beat Forest Green or draw with Lincoln.

“Now we need to make sure we deserve something against Mansfield. I felt there was a gulf between the sides when we met in December so hopefully the boys show me we have got a lot right in that time.”


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