Notts must bounce back

On target: Johnson scored the winner in this fixture last year.
The Magpies felt the pain of defeat for only the second time this season, after being outclassed by Chesterfield on Saturday.

Returning to Meadow Lane following two consecutive away fixtures, Notts will be looking to make up for it using their home advantage.

Despite much improved displays, County have only amassed two wins this term and if a play-off push is to become a reality, improvements are a must.

Although the bitter taste of defeat still sours the taste buds, fans must remember the fine form that their side are in on home turf.

Six draws and four wins have ensured that no visiting team has walked away with all three points in the bag since Lincoln City on March 11.

Rochdale are a team that could potentially break this run, having started the campaign brightly.

They currently find themselves in a healthy tenth position - just two points adrift of the top seven.

Back-to-back wins over Chester City (6-1) and Aldershot Town (3-1) have helped them cement this top-half placement and they will be making the trip brimming with confidence.

On top of this, they are firing on all cylinders, which is not good news for a Notts defence that has shipped five goals in the last two games.

The visitors' away form, however, is not overly great, with one loss, four draws and a solitary win achieved thus far.

With Notts being draw specialists, it looks as though this is the likely outcome, but previous records show that it might not be as probable as first imagined.

In the 30 meetings between the clubs, County have a remarkable record against the Dale, notching up 14 wins and 12 draws.

Bounce back: McParland wants his team to believe in themselves.

One of the four losses did come last season away at Spotland falling 4-2, but Notts claimed all three points at home thanks to a Michael Johnson goal.

Ian McParland is hoping for a repeat of the same and is encouraging his players to bounce back from the defeat at the weekend.

Speaking to the Nottingham Evening Post, he said: "The players have to be more positive and believe in their ability more when they get the ball.

"It's not good starting to believe in themselves when they are a goal or two down.

"It's disappointing but it won't affect our confidence. We will go into the next two games in the same way as we have before.

"We need to dust ourselves down and get on with it. Maybe it will give us a little kick up the backside."

Tomorrow night and Saturday's clash with Bury will go a long way to shaping Notts' season, meaning that it is now the time to certify that the improved displays pick up the points they warrant.