NCM picks versus Bradford City

Last updated : 12 January 2008 By Paul Smith

Goalkeeper: Kevin Pilkington
is the undisputed number one for Notts and throwing youngster Tim Sandercombe in at what is likely to be the biggest crowd Notts play in front of this season will not work. Pilkington's know-how is vital at this point.

Defence: Adam Tann
had a poor first half but decent second half against Stockport, playing in the right back position he used to favout for the first time this season. Once the captain hets used to the position on a regular basis once more, NCM are sure he will prove his worth. Inside whether Guy Branston was suspended or not, NCM would leave him out due to his horrific debut. Krystian Pearce and Stephen Hunt were exceptional in the second half, and will give Notts the best chance of a vital clean sheet. With Hunt back inside, the gap at left back is there for Austin McCann to take, particularly with Paul Mayo now at Darlington.

Notts have bolstered in the position they have lacked all season - alongside up top - by bringing in two wingers in the past week. Felix Bastians debuted last week and showed potential. Even with Myles Weston back, Bastians should stay on the left. On the right Andy Parkinson should be dropped, and can now be replaced by a natural suitor as Ali Gibb arrived on Friday. He should be shoved straight in to see what he is made of. In the centre competition is fierce now, but away from home, and with the strikers off form, NCM would play three in the middle. Neil MacKenzie is the most gifted player and should always start, while Gavin Strachan has been added to the ranks, and should be given a start to prove what he is about. Also, his energy and ability to put a foot in is something Notts have lacked. You couldn't leave out top scorer Richard Butcher, and his ability to arrive late in the box could work if he is played further upo just behind a lone striker.

Lawrie Dudfield is the best at the club at holding the ball up and did very well in this formation against MK Dons. His work rate is good enough to play alone, and he will thrive on better balls into the box from Gibb and Bastians.