Pompey v Notts County: Insider

Nottingham Post reporter Leigh Curtis gives us a flavour of Notts County's season so far.

Friday, 25th March 2016, 7:30 am
Former Pompey boss Izale McLeod

The season started promisingly – yet Notts County are now on their third manager and sit in 19th position.

The summer had seen Ricardo Moniz allowed to spent a lot of money in bringing in the likes of Izale McLeod and Jon Stead, signification investment.

Then in the opener at Stevenage, the new-look Magpies produced what is still one of their best away performances of the season.

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They followed that up by deservedly winning at Huddersfield to eliminate them from the Capital One Cup.

The problem was, Moniz was great at fostering an attacking team, superb principles of going forward looking to hurt the opposition.

He didn’t care much for the defensive side but at home it was fantastic to watch, the like Red Arrows.

Contrast that to away from home where County couldn’t get a win and really struggled, being thumped on a few occasions such as Morecambe and Oxford United.

Earlier this month at Yeovil, they fielded a 25th different combination of players in the back four in 39 matches.

Consistency at the back has been a real problem, they have leaked goals and that has been a major concern throughout the season, regardless of the man in charge.

Moniz got the boot after a 2-2 draw against Morecambe in December, with Jamie Fullarton coming in wanting to give structure and organisation.

The Magpies then lost their attacking edge, the goals dried up, performances tailed off and there was a little bit of an atmosphere at the club.

There were fans who didn’t want Fullarton at the club, the feeling was for an experienced manager.

There were banners, chants of ‘Get out of our club’ after one game, while they couldn’t understand why Stanley Aborah was suddenly overlooked.

Unfortunately Fullarton bore the brunt of all the frustrations, while results also didn’t go down well.

Now Mark Cooper is at the helm and has a tremendous track record from his time at Swindon.

They were probably the best team to play at Meadow Lane last season.

It is difficult for any manager at this stage of the campaign to implement their ideas so it will be interesting to see how he fares.

County should be safe from relegation, though, being 13 points off the bottom two.

Dagenham & Redbridge and York are so bad I don’t think anyone else need worry.