After 21 days, Notts County are back at Meadow Lane for a league fixture, this weekend’s opponents are the Green Devils, Forest Green Rovers. Both sides will be looking to build on their good form as the home and away side, as the Magpies have a 100%-win record at the Lane, and Forest Green have two wins and one draw from their three away matches.
Forest Green go into this game 21st, fourth from bottom and only four points from the relegation zone. The last time this weekend’s away side were in League Two, they finished first under former manager Rob Edwards, but after he left to go up the English pyramid to Watford, Forest Green struggled in the third tier, and finished rock bottom – if they do not change their form then they could be facing back-to-back relegations. However, their away form, as aforementioned, is good with them not losing a single game when playing away from the New Lawn – so if their away fans get behind them then it could be an interesting game for the Magpies.
Forest Green have appointed a new manager this season in the form of David Horseman, who joined after being Southampton and Ruben Selles’ assistant manager for a short period at the end of the Premier League season. This is the 39-year-old’s first senior managerial role, after predominantly being a youth team manager/ coach at Bristol City, Watford and Southampton. Because of his lack of senior experience, he will need to be given time to find his feet, however, given the fact that Forest Green have had five managers who haven’t lasted a year, including former Notts manager Ian Burchnall, since Mark Cooper was sacked in 2021 after five years with the club, it will be interesting to see if he gets given this time.
One player to watch in the away side is natural goal scorer Troy Deeney. The 35-year-old ex-Watford striker, who has amassed a remarkable 179 career goals, has yet to hit the ground running so far in League Two, but has been a part of a very poor side going forward, only scoring six times from their first eight games. The former Premier League forward joined Forest Green in the summer from Birmingham City as a player-coach, and he will be eager to help Forest Green and turn their season around after a below average start by them. If Deeney gets a chance in front of goal, you would bet on him to score it, so he will be a real danger for the Magpies defence on Saturday.
Notts fans could be seeing in-form wing-back Jodi Jones feature from the start on Saturday after playing the final 25 minutes against Salford. The Maltese winger recently went on international duty and missed the games against MK Dons and Wolves U21s, and he was particularly missed in Milton Keynes where we mostly played down the right side. As he has been one of our best and most consistent players this campaign, fans will be eager to see him from the start and produce his magic on that left wing to give some balance to the team.
Notts County vs Forest Green Rovers | League Two | Saturday 23rd September 2023 | 15:00 | Meadow Lane