No surprises as Flitcroft crosses swords with Notts for third time this season

David Flitcroft
David Flitcroft

After two games against them already this season, Kevin Nolan’s Notts County will hold no surprises for new Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft on Saturday.

Flitcroft has already played Notts twice while manager at Swindon this season, winning and losing 1-0 and said: “We had a narrow defeat at Notts and then beat them at home.

“They play a certain way and do things how Kev (pictured, inset) likes to play and we’ve got to combat that.

“We must make sure on the day we turn their strengths into weaknesses and that we are stronger in what we do.

“Notts can be quite an intimidating place.

“They have made it a fortress and we have to try to take ownership ourselves, which can only come through the performance of the players and the energy they show which will cascade onto our fans.”

Flitcroft continued: “Notts have had a good season. Kevin has had that momentum from last season.

“He went in there just after Christmas time and built momentum. Obviously the owners backed him.

“Kevin is a great football man, but we have to concentrate on our game.

“They are up there for a reason. If you are in the top three over the course of a season then you’re doing something right.

“We have to understand that. But since I came in here from day one we’ve been concentrating on Mansfield Town and what we can do to improve and how we can get better. We are certainly seeing small signs of that.”

Last weekend a late Matt Tootle goal earned the Magpies a 2-1 win at in-form Forest Green.

Their only defeat in their last six games was a 1-0 reversal at Cambridge United.

After losing at home to Crawley and Exeter in January, Notts have since taken maximum points from their last three games at Meadow Lane.

Forest loanee Jorge Grant remains their top scorer with 18 goals while Jon Stead has 13.

The winners on Saturday will also land the Matt Salmon Trophy.

The trophy is now competed for every time the sides clash in memory of the young physio who worked at both clubs and died last year, Stags having won the inaugural contest earlier this season.