Nolan is bringing the good times back
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”
KEY MAN JON STEAD Notts Co