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Ardley: "Cheer every little thing"

Boss hoping for positive atmopshere against Cambridge

12 January 2019

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Neal Ardley has called on Notts County’s fans to stay positive during the clash with Cambridge on Saturday.

A big crowd is expected at Meadow Lane with tickets priced just £2 for the match between the Magpies and the 21st-placed U’s.

And Ardley is asking supporters to roar his side on to victory.

“No matter how the game is going please be positive and cheer every little thing,” said the boss.

“Take any anxiety and apprehension, put it to one side between 3pm and 5pm and get behind the players as much as possible during the 90 minutes.

“Drive us on and I’ll try to get the lads doing the same on the pitch so that, together, we can build some momentum.

“We all need to put our shoulders back and be strong at this tough time and, if the players use the energy of the crowd in the right way, it will be a powerful thing.”

Just five points separate the two sides ahead of kick-off but Ardley is keen to avoid clichés.

“I’m trying not to say six-pointer but it’s a natural thing,” he said. “If they win, the gap increases and it becomes harder for us to close it again.

“We’ve got 17 games left and we really need to start putting points on the board whoever that’s against, but we need to start quickly.

“There are 17 cup finals between now and the end of the season and this is our first opportunity to make up for lost points in recent weeks.”

The gaffer says new signings Jim O’Brien and Ryan Schofield are in contention, along with Lewis Alessandra who got more minutes in the tank for the reserves on Tuesday.

“Ryan might only be 19 but I’ve got no qualms with throwing him straight in at the deep end if needed because he’s an outstanding prospect,” said Ardley.

“I’ve been delighted with Jim since he’s come in and I’ve already seen what he can bring to the side.

“He demands, he pushes his team-mates, runs all day and will get stuck into people – he’s trained brilliantly and is the sort of personality we need.

“Lewis got 60 minutes on Tuesday and it’s great to have him back. He trains at a good intensity without prompting and is certainly in the reckoning too.”

One man Notts will continue to be without is Matt Tootle, who has suffered a tear in his thigh - an injury initially diagnosed as a dead leg.

"I've apologised to Matt since the Colchester game because he had actually informed the physio he was struggling on Thursday last week," said Ardley.

"I wasn't aware until the Saturday morning, hence why I was disappointed that he wasn't available.

"In fairness to him he tried to do the right thing all along. It was a misdiagnosis of the injury.

"He told me he's not someone to shy away - he wants to be out on the pitch helping.

"This injury could be anything from two-to-four weeks. Hopefully he'll be back soon."

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