Whitlow grateful to Richo

Whitlow was placed on the transfer-list by former manager Gary Mills, along with team-mates David Pipe & Matthew Gill. At the time, the action spoke volumes for Mills' desperate attempts to claim back some authority and let his under-performing squad know just who was the boss.

In fact, it did the opposite and alienated his players even further. What's more, the move was also against the wishes of the board and a couple of weeks later, Mills was offered a 'demotion' and one of the first things caretaker player-boss Richardson did was to remove the trio from the list, an act which Whitlow admits he is grateful for.

"I appreciate Ian's decision and the backing he has handed me, Matthew and Pipey," Whitlow told the club's official site.

"The last month has been hard for me. I went on the list for not playing how I should have been and I have worked hard to improve my performances since."

36-year-old Whitlow has arguably undergone the biggest transformation since Mills' departure, turning in two of his best displays since arriving at Meadow Lane on a free transfer from Sheffield United in the summer.

The much-travelled defender - whose former clubs include Leeds, Bolton and Leicester City- has also been re-instated as captain after being temporarily stripped of the honour by Mills.