Ard­ley is fo­cused on show of pride

The Post’s County writer speaks to the new Notts boss

Nottingham Post - - SPORT - LEIGH CUR­TIS

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

PIC­TURE: DAN WESTWELL

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

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