Mag­pies must start to cut out mis­takes

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By John Hunter

ALAN Smith has called on Notts County to cut out the mis­takes, but the for­mer Manch­ester United midfielder ac­cepts play­ers are not robots.

The Mag­pies have been aw­ful on the road this sea­son, with just one win in League Two, yet they re­turn home for to­day’s clash with Ply­mouth look­ing to ex­tend their five-game win­ning run at Meadow Lane.

The latest two dis­mal dis­plays away from home were a 5-1 de­feat at Sheffield United in the John­stone’s Paint Tro­phy and a 3-1 loss at Ley­ton Ori­ent last Satur­day.

And while Smith ac­cepts de­fen­sive lapses have been the cause of much con­cern, the 34year-old has taken a philo­soph­i­cal view, hav­ing lis­tened to a cou­ple of Premier League man­agers this week.

“I lis­tened to Louis van Gaal’s in­ter­view and Tony Pulis too,” he said.“They both said play­ers aren’t robots. They do make mis­takes. Ev­ery­body is hu­man and that’s football.

“I am sure the longer we get to­gether, and the longer the man­ager coaches and trains us, both phys­i­cally and men­tally, you will see those mis­takes less and less.

“We can keep on say­ing for­ever that per­for­mances are good, but it’s frac­tions which de­ter­mine football matches.

“De­fen­sive mis­takes are some­thing we have to try to change. You’ve got to make sure the de­tails which de­cide football matches go in your favour.

“We are go­ing to be tested at home in the com­ing weeks. Our home form is re­ally good. We’ve got Ply­mouth and are look­ing for­ward to that.”

The Mag­pies will be with­out Haydn Hol­lis, with the de­fender serv­ing a one-match ban.

Ply­mouth have left-back Gary Sawyer and hold­ing mid­field player Carl McHugh avail­able af­ter serv­ing one-match bans against Ex­eter. Midfielder Graham Carey is ex­pected to be fit af­ter a knee in­jury.

And Pil­grims boss Derek Adams is look­ing for­ward to be­ing on Sky Sports: “It helps be­ing in front of the cam­eras. Peo­ple all over the world are watch­ing.”

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