STAGS v NOTTS COUNTY BLOG: Magpies desperate for some home form

Mansfield Town Web Tile

Mansfield Town Web Tile

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A frenetic summer of signings at Meadow Lane coupled with a positive start to the season have gone a long way to eradicate the inevitable relegation blues.

But Friday’s clash with our local rivals may just settle another nagging doubt causing sleep issues to many a Notts County supporter; will we ever develop some decent home form?

The fixture fairies have done their best to provide Ricardo Moniz with the perfect opportunity to make a statement, but having taken a couple of sneaky undercover sights of Mansfield Town this opener at Meadow Lane may well prove to be much trickier than many Notts fans expect.

The Magpies registered only five home victories last term, hitting the back of the net just 24 times. When you consider that five of those goals came against Crawley back in October you get an idea of the meagre rations on offer and why the Black and White faithful will be expecting much better from the new-look Pies.

This improvement will be expected from day one which brings a definite pressure to a new squad just finding their feet together.

Meadow Lane has rarely been classed as a fortress and if the Stags start quickly then Notts will need to show some backbone. Although a strong following in yellow will have hopes, the pressure most certainly lies with the home team.

The two squads perfectly highlight two different ways to crack the same nut. Adam Murray knows the division inside out and has assembled a squad blessed with experience at this level.

Whilst it may be arguable if there is the class and depth to deliver promotion it is unlikely that the One Call Stadium will feel any fears of relegation this season.

Notts, on the other hand, have a sense of unproven potential about them.

With names that many will struggle to pronounce never mind recognise, a manager with little lower league experience and an owner with an over-active trigger finger there is most certainly potential for disaster.

However, if Moniz has got it right then the results could be spectacular with a promise of quick attacking football played to feet.

The Stags should take hope from County losing what seems to be two of their first choice back four after Mawouna Amevour saw an early bath and Civard Sprockel picked up an injury in the 2-0 opening day victory against Stevenage.

However, at the other end expect to see flagship signing Jon Stead supported by speedy wingers and a mobile and combative midfield three.

Driving that engine room will likely be the Belgian Stanley Aborah, who has the ability to be a leading star in this division.

The winning approach will be obvious by the time the two clubs renew league rivalries in April. That is unless you are of a positive disposition and we have two Nottinghamshire clubs challenging for League Two honours next spring.

Now that would be a season to remember.