Will Notts finally move in the right direction?

By Kirk Ward
Last updated : 29 October 2007

There were lots of words to describe the appointment of Steve Thompson at Meadow Lane 15 months ago. None more so than 'surprising'.

The board must have endured many sleepless nights over the choice of Danny Wilson - an experienced manager in the lower leagues, having made a name for himself in the Premiership with Sheffield Wednesday. Or Steve Thompson, who made a name for him self way back in 1991 with Lincoln City.

Surely there were no questions over which it could be, right? Wrong. The adventurous Notts County board chose against the favourite and chose the 'cheap' option, it might seem.

McParland... The latest Notts boss
A decision that cost them dearly. Wilson was appointed as Hartlepool United manager and they went on to finish 2nd and achieve automatic promotion back to League One at the first attempt.

Whilst Notts had to suffer mid-table mediocrity - again.

I'm not going to lie, I supported Thompson up until the day he left, but it was after the 3-0 pounding that we received away to MK Dons earlier this season that I finally realised that he had to go.

This time last season, though, things were a lot different.

We were playing some decent football, into the 4th Round of the Carling Cup and had only lost 2 League games all season. Lying in 5th Place with 27 points from 15 games.

What a difference 12 months make.

Thompson... Deserved sacking

Here we are at the end of October, and before Saturday having only won 2 League games all season, Out of the Carling Cup at the first hurdle to Coventry City and lying in 20th position with 11 points from 12 matches.

Time for a change? Certainly! After a 3-1 drubbing at home to Bury a chorus of boo's and 'Thompson Out' chants echoed the Meadow Lane stadium, which was just a fifth full, compared to a quarter full this time last term.

Continually decreasing attendances, poor football and unhappy supporters don't mix, believe me.

Three days after the defeat to Bury, Thompson was given the boot. Some might have wished it be from the window of the 1862 suit, but fortunately for him (sort of), it was out the main gates.

It's easy to say that all the Notts fans were happy, at last. But now the rumours started as to who was going to replace him. Some wanted Martin Allen, The Sun suggested Brian Little. The board, on the other hand, had different ideas.

Little... Strongly linked
In came Ian 'Charlie' McParland. The man who made a name for himself at this very club as a player was now back to manage.

Not quite the experienced manager that everyone had hoped for but the only difference this time around, was that the fans were happy with the appointment. At last!

Charlie's first job was to fire John Gannon. Harsh some might say but the new gaffer would want his own team and it's only fair there were a clean slate at the Club.

Charlie's appointment came just 48 hours before the big crunch game against local & relegation rivals Mansfield Town.

Having had just a few hours to train with the players on Friday morning, they were soon out on the pitch once again.

The 2-0 defeat to Mansfield hurt, but perhaps for some of us, we didn't really care because starting Monday morning, the real stuff started.

Charlie began his first full week as the manager of Notts County Football

Kevan... New assistant
Club. He began it quite impressively, managing to sweet talk an Assistant Manager by the name of Dave Kevan from Championship side Burnley into giving up his post with the Lancashire club and move to Nottingham to take the reigns vacated by Gannon.

OK, so they're very close friends too, so what? It's still impressive.

'Chas & Dave' have now had a full week working with the lads; It's now their task to put a smile back on the faces of the Notts faithful.

What worries me, though, is if these two cannot work their magic and results go against them, fans favourites they may be, but for how long?

Notts. County Match Reports

Sky Bet League Two Sat 9th December 15:00

Luton Town 1 - 1 Notts County

Last game - Match Centre


Trending on the boards