Many people thought Notts County’s start to the season couldn’t get any worse. Winless in six, losing the last five and conceding 16 goals in the process; but now they’re managerless is too.
Kevin Nolan’s sacking came as a shock to some, no one less the man himself, but many fans could see it coming. But without a replacement currently in the dugout, what chance does this give the Magpies of getting their first win of the season on Saturday?
If they are to get that inaugural win, they’ll need to defeat a solid Forest Green Rovers side who strengthened well in the summer, and are currently unbeaten in their league campaign, with the 3rd best away form in the division so far.
Tie that in with the fact that Notts haven’t yet scored at Meadow Lane this season, and that they lost 4-0 to Yeovil Town in their last match on home soil, they may well be in for another long afternoon.
At the time of writing, Notts haven’t yet appointed Nolan’s successor and are struggling to bolster their squad, especially defensively, in the loan market that stays open until Friday. Numerous defenders have been linked to the club, but no one is yet to put pen to paper, and probably won’t until a new manager is finally decided.
So, all this makes for pretty bleak reading for Notts fans, and also makes the weekend’s game not short from impossible to predict. There may well be new faces on the pitch by the time Saturday comes around, and almost definitely will be a new face in the dugout.
However, Notts’ form over Rovers is good, in fact they’ve never lost to them before, winning two and drawing one of their only three competitive meetings.
But this will be the strongest Forest Green side that the Magpies will have faced before, with them signing over 10 new players this transfer window.
Despite letting virtually the same amount leave the club, they have gone about their business slightly under the radar and may well be the dark horses for a play-off spot this season.
Notts drew 1-1 with Forest Green at Meadow Lane last season, with the now departed Rob Milsom scoring a 94th minute equaliser to keep their unbeaten run against Rovers going; a similar result this time out would probably be the best the Magpies can hope for given their current circumstances.
The Magpies have conceded at least three goals in all of their last five games in all competitions and are yet to score a home goal, so many Notts fans would take a point, despite it being at home, come 3pm on Saturday.
Whatever happens it will be the start of a new era at Meadow Lane, let’s hope the Magpies can get off to a flyer.