Nolan is bring­ing the good times back

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Richard Dore

JON Stead in­sists Kevin Nolan has brought the feel-good fac­tor back to Notts County and re­vealed that if it wasn’t for the new man­ager than he prob­a­bly wouldn’t be in con­tention to face Bar­net this af­ter­noon.

Pre­vi­ous boss John Sheri­dan had made it clear that all play­ers were avail­able to leave the club in Jan­uary, which in­flu­enced Stead to con­sider a move to Amer­ica.

How­ever, Sheri­dan was sacked for gross mis­con­duct on Jan­uary 2 fol­low­ing a club record equalling nine de­feats in row and Stead stayed put at Meadow Lane.

And Mag­pies fans will be glad that he did as he is the club’s top scorer this cam­paign with 13 goals, with Nolan – who re­placed Sheri­dan as man­ager – ad­mit­ting that he would like to keep the 33-year-old striker de­spite his con­tract ex­pir­ing this sum­mer.

Stead hopes to re­turn to first-team ac­tion against the Bees af­ter hav­ing missed Tues­day’s de­feat to Don­caster Rovers due to a dead leg, and he knows if it wasn’t for Nolan then he might be far away from Meadow Lane by now.

“The ap­point­ment of Kevin changed my mind 100 per cent,” said Stead. “I spoke to him a cou­ple of days af­ter the Mans­field game and made him aware of the sit­u­a­tion.

“We were in a trans­fer em­bargo at the time and he said he couldn’t let me go. I un­der­stood the de­ci­sion and the more I’ve seen of the gaffer and his staff, the more I like.

“We’ve got to keep do­ing what we are do­ing, which is work­ing hard on the train­ing pitch, be­cause the man­ager won’t set­tle for any­thing less than 100 per cent.

“We are mak­ing sure we are fully pre­pared and mov­ing for­ward all the time, be­cause a good fin­ish to the sea­son will set us up for a good start to the next one.”

Stead and mid­fielder Curtis Thomp­son will both be given late checks ahead of the visit of Bar­net, al­though French de­fender Thierry Audel may not make the match­day squad again de­spite be­ing fit. Bar­net man­ager Kevin Nu­gent has no new in­jury con­cerns ahead of the trip to Meadow Lane and de­spite County be­ing near the bot­tom of the league he’s ex­pect­ing a touch en­counter.

He said: “It’s never easy at any game and I keep say­ing this, there’s no top or mid­dle or bot­tom, it doesn’t mat­ter who you’re playing be­cause the con­sis­tency of teams changes from week to week.

“You can get a team at the bot­tom who play like they’re at the top and vice versa so ev­ery game’s tough”


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