Match Preview: Maccesfield Town

Last updated : 30 September 2005 By Rob Davies
Oh dear. After a start even the most optimistic amongst us daren't wish for, September has been the month where Gudjon Thordarson's prolonged honeymoon period in-charge of the Magpies was brought to an abrupt end.

Gradually, County's form has dipped and the last three performances have all been unnaceptable, capped ofcourse by Tuesday night's 4-0 drubbing at Grimsby Town.

Whilst Grimsby may be top of the table, the nature of the defeat brought the first real wave of criticism for Thordarson. Some of the criticism was justified, some not, but there can be little doubt that few will hope - or expect - for the Iceman to persevere with the 3-4-3 formation that he daringly lined-up with in mid-week.

Gudjon: Bad week
Thordarson, ofcourse, has had more problems than just with formations in the past week - that has undoubtedly been his worst since he took the job in May.

The Magpies manager now has a serious problem with discipline, with three of his players sent off for violent conduct in the past four matches. For a manager who's made his reputation as something of a disciplinarian, it is something he simply cannot understand and will not tolerate.

There are already rumours that the next player to step out of line in such a manner - as Lewis McMahon did when he elbowed ex County midfielder Paul Bolland on Tuesday - will be instantly shown the door, such is Thordarson's frustration at the situation.

One such example of discipline in the camp came earlier in the week, with Thordarson fining top-scorer Glynn Hurst a week's wages and dropping him from the squad that travelled to Cleethorpes for what he perceived to be getting a little too heated in a discussion.

Hurst, though, is likely to be back in the squad that travels tomorrow and it is probably a good job, following Tuesday's debacle.

Despite being touted as promotion favourites before the season got underway, Macclesfield currently lie in a lowly 21st position in the League Two table.

After securing a surprise playoff position last campaign, a number of promising signings were made in the summer by veteran manager Brian Horton - though the new-look team has not yet yielded the results expected by the ex Manchester City boss.

A large reason for Macclesfield's poor start to the season has undoubtedly been the absence of their inspirational striker Jon Parkin. The striker battered his way to a hat-trick during the Silkmen's 5-0 drubbing of the Magpies' last season, but has yet to play a game this campaign due to injury.

Hurst: Set for return?
Though it's expected that the gigantic striker will return in the next couple of weeks, word within the Macclesfield camp is that tomorrow's match has come just a little too soon for the 26-year-old powerhouse. Phew.

As well as Parkin, Horton will also be missing former Lincoln left-sider Kevin Sandwith, playmaker Neil MacKenzie and Mark Bailey through injuries'.

One dangerman that will line-up for the Silkmen tomorrow afternoon though is the lively Martin Bullock. The 5'5 winger has made a big impression on Moss Rose since signing in the summer from Blackpool.

The Nottingham-born player already has 6 goals to his name this campaign and has made a big impression on the 1,000 or so supporters that regularly watch Macclesfield home fixtures.

Despite their poor league position, Horton's team have lost just once at Moss Rose this season, though that did come via a 4-1 drubbing by Northampton Town.

That record will not fill the Magpies with confidence as they look to end a run of five games without a single victory.

However, Thordarson has largely opted to keep faith with the men who were beaten so badly in mid-week. Neither Ruben Zadkovich nor Andy White have been named in the initial squad of 18, though both could become late call-ups if either David Pipe or Jake Sheriden fail to shake-off injury knocks.

McMahon begins his three-match ban after his sending off, whilst Julien Baudet serves the final match of his. There is good news for Thordarson though, in the form of Steve Scoffham - who returns from his three-match suspension, providing he can shake-off a foot injury of his own. Chibuzor Chilaka is likely to earn a squad place for the first time.

Notts (possible): Pilkington; O'Callaghan, Edwards, Wilson, Maritin; Pipe, Gill, Ullathorne, Sheriden; McGoldrick, Hurst.

Subs (from): Marshall, Chilaka, Long, Palmer, Berry, Gordon, Scoffham.