Alan Hardy stunned by Notts County's progress

“It’s been incredible really because we never, ever, expected to be in this position and it certainly wasn’t in our plan for this year,” he said.

“After securing safety last season, we sat down and said that consolidation was the aim in order that we could lay foundations for a promotion push next season.

“But all of a sudden here we are, third in the table, with just eight games to go, and we could be heading for a place in League One ahead of schedule.

“It’s been remarkable to witness and it’s a testament to Kevin Nolan, his staff and the players for how they have performed this season.

“They have engineered themselves into a fantastic position and whatever fate has in store for us, I am just going to enjoy the ride.

“It would be utterly magical if we could pull it off and there are not many teams who go from fighting relegation one season, then pushing for promotion the next.”

“We’ve got some huge games coming up not least starting this weekend against Chesterfield and then followed up by the game against Wycombe,

“We’ve been so strong at home this season and I am hoping that will give us an edge for the run-in.

“The fans have played their part in making us so very hard to be beat at home and I am sure they will help us over the line.

“Nobody should underestimate their importance in all this because they have made life very difficult for opposition teams this season with the noise they have made.”