Ardley is focused on show of pride
The Post’s County writer speaks to the new Notts boss
NEAL Ardley hopes Notts County can deliver a performance the fans can be proud of as they chase an overdue derby win against fierce rivals Mansfield.
The two clubs go head to head in the League Two clash at the One Call Stadium today in what is a huge game for both clubs in respect of their ambitions this season.
Notts hope victory will take them out of the relegation zone after a disastrous opening to the campaign while the Stags are looking to strengthen their promotion push after an impressive start.
Notts will be backed by a strong travelling support and they are still waiting for a first league win at the Stags since they won 3-2 back in 2005.
Ardley is hoping the players can repay that excellent backing by giving them a performance to remember in what is his first league game in charge of the club since he was appointed as Harry Kewell’s successor last month.
“I remember when I was manager of Wimbledon that when we took 1,300 or 1,400 fans away, they always tend to be that bit louder,” he said.
“They have probably been out drinking that little bit earlier which gives them the confidence!
“But the away fans are phenomenal and if we take a good following then it can create a buzz.
“My main hope is that we put in a performance they are all very happy with.
“I can’t guarantee the result but what I can try and guarantee is a performance.
“I just want them to come off and to a man say they represented us brilliantly out there.
“I will be disappointed if we don’t turn up and the fans aren’t pleased with what they see.”
Notts go into the game having not won in the league since the start of October, when Jon Stead’s penalty gave them a 1-0 win at rock-bottom Macclesfield.
But, having drawn their last two games, at Carlisle and Morecambe, under caretaker boss Steve Chettle, it is hoped the Magpies are finally starting to regain some form.
A win at Mansfield would underline that feeling and Ardley says he should not have to gee his players up for what is the biggest game of the season in their calendar.
“I shouldn’t have to get them up for it,” he said.
“They know what the importance of it.
“I hope our boys, with the tough start we have had and what the fans have probably been through, want
to give them something to sing and be proud about.
“If they do that, if they feel that way, then they will go as hard as they possibly can.”
Having worked with the players intensely over the last week since his arrival, Ardley says he is trying to reinforce his demands on how he wants his team to play.
The Magpies boss feels that if they meet certain statistics during the course of a game, then it will only help them inch closer to that elusive victory.
“People that win games believe they will win games and they are surprised when they don’t,” he said.
“People that lose games are more surprised when they do win games.
“You just get beaten up by it and it happens.
“We are just trying to give them belief in what we are trying to do in terms of the structure and give them clarity on what wins games of football.
“They are under no illusions about the most important parts of it.
“Hopefully they have smiles on their faces, they are enjoying it and they are blowing in training, which is good because we feel we have probably upped the intensity of that.
“If we can just keep them believing that if they produce certain numbers in terms of key stats, then it weighs in your favour.
Ardley added: “I think I heard Burnley manager Sean Dyche say that performances will get you results.
“If you can keep those performances high and the players believe then we can get there.”
MAGPIES BOSS WANTS PERFORMANCE TO REPAY FANS’ BACKING
Jon Stead scores from the penalty spot against Macclesfield to give Notts County their last win on October 6
Notts County manager Neal Ardley is looking to make a winning start in the league