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Notts County manager demands National League rule change

Notts County manager Neal Ardley demands a National League rule change ahead of their upcoming encounter against Chesterfield this weekend.

The former AFC Wimbledon boss admits his opponent’s decision to sack their manager has caused something to not go as planned ahead of the Magpies’s trip to Derbyshire on Saturday.

Ardley had scouted the Spireites in the build-up to the game, only for Chesterfield to sack John Pemberton following a dismal start to the 2020/21 season, with the club currently sat 21st in the National League table after losing six of their first eight games.

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“I don’t know what to expect from them,” he said.

“I watched three games of theirs yesterday and so did my analysis guy and then he messaged me to say the manager had gone.

“I always try to focus on us. Yes we’ll look at the shape of the opposition but if I can’t get my group right and motivated, if we can’t get that then we probably we won’t get the points anyway.”

Notts County go into this weekend’s game sitting 12th place, still left disappointed from conceding a late equaliser to FC Halifax Town in midweek.

Ardley said that disastrous late errors are more likely when a team is not winning consistently.

“If you look at it you would do it differently every time. We were trying to be clever in the corner,” he said.

“The things that happened wouldn’t happen in 99 times out of 100. We had grafted to what would have been a tough 1-0 away win.

“When you have a moment like that it changes everything.

“When you are winning games, winning gets easier. When you aren’t winning it gets more alien, a bit more difficult.

“You get too many people back and invite pressure. When momentum is there you believe you’ll get the second goal.

“It’s not something I can give the team. I told them results will come.”

Currently, teams in the English Football League have this week been allowed to name up to nine substitutes, in the Championship at least, and use five, National League sides are staying with the three subs from five named rule.

Ardley however opposes that and now want league chiefs to change it.

“I asked for it before the season started. I asked why we still had five subs,” he said.

“I’m sure it’s a financial issue. I asked how many managers were consulted.

“I wasn’t consulted. If you have seven subs and use four that helps.

“It means you can put youngsters on the bench. As a manager, we go without a goalie some games because sometimes you need cover in other areas.

“It seems wrong. A lot of the time our league goes in line with the EFL.

“I’d like to think they would follow suit. I asked for it this season because it’s five or six weeks shorter. I feel the welfare of the players would benefit with more subs.

“I hope they change their mind. I’d be happy to have seven subs and only use three.

“You always need to keep one sub in the back pocket in case a player goes down or gets cramp. I only want it for the welfare of the players.”

Fans reacted as the Notts County manager demands a National League rule change…

Sircharliep said: Getting his excuses in early

Loz Clough: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

Nigel Cozens: What an odd thing to complain about

Neil Pendleton: Neal getting his excuses in early

Dan Simpson: Imagine being a Notts player and reading this. I would personally sack him for them comments alone if I was the owners.

David Argyle: Go out and beat them

Pete Cowlishaw: If this is true, he needs to go, making our club a big laughing stock than we are already

Will Hart: Maybe he sees the quality of our squad and just thinks about how we play and let them worry about us for a change

Dylan Roome: How about just focus on playing our game? Instead of playing how they’ll want us to

Deryck Flowers: He should be working out how we are going to play, not the opposition

Geoff Lomas: Embarrassing

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