After a run of just one win throughout December, and one defeat from one in 2007 going into the clash in Lancashire, Notts were facing their biggest test of the season. They had slipped to there lowest position for some time and their Playoff credentials were being seriously questioned.
Pushing on means overcoming bottom side Torquay United at Meadow Lane on Saturday. That means a home game for Notts, where they haven't picked up three points in over 360 minutes of football. Dudfield is puzzled with regard to the shocking home form, “It doesn't matter who we are playing, our home form should be better.
“I honestly don't know (why the home form is so bad). It's a great stadium, we've got good support, and we are a good team. I can't say one way or another and I don't know what it is.”
One thing that is sure is that Dudfield is a man in form. Aswell as scoring twice in three games, Dudfield is also performing well, and striking up a good partnership with former Boston United team mate Jason Lee, “Me and ‘Jase' have played four on the spin now (after the Torquay game), and the partnership is working better now. As a partnership we are really progressing and just looking forward to scoring more goals.”
After starting the season as first-choice, a poor start saw Dudfield perform more often than not from the substitutes bench. He now readily admits he wasn't right to start, “I was nowhere near where I should have been, fitness wise or anything, and that was my own fault.”
He briefly returned to net a late winner at Torquay United, and a late equaliser in the local derby with Mansfield, before being dropped to the bench once again. It is only recently he has finally made the place his own, and he intends to stay there, “I've got to make it impossible for the gaffer to drop me. When you are not playing you can do all the stuff you want, but you can't get match fit.”
With Tcham N'Toya injured and Junior Mendes not 100%, top scorer Lee and in-form Dudfield will have to lead from the front if Notts are to end their Meadow Lane hoodoo.