In our first opposing views of the season, Chris is happy with how Vale’s next opponents are doing.
I have supported Notts County since I was five-years-old, my Grandfather was a huge fan and heavily influenced me. I grew up watching Notts in the old Division One (now the Championship) and I enjoyed several “Wemberley” trips with my brother and Grandfather.
How will County do?
If we ignore the opening day defeat to Coventry, Notts are performing above my expectations and hopes. We have a togetherness which is visible on the pitch and Kevin Nolan has made a lot of progress. For me the 2017-2018 season is all about stability and progression, so I am happy with any position above mid-table. The club has set the play-offs as their target which seemed ambitious at the start of the season, yet I do have a strong feeling that it could be possible.
What we do have is a team full of hard-working individuals and that is all what we fans can expect…
How is the manager doing?
Kevin Nolan is doing well, he’s a bit frustrating for praising under-performing players and sticking by them when others warrant the starting position – yet he still new to management and has done a lot. His signings are quite average for League Two, there’s been no real thrill signings (aside from getting Jorge Grant back on loan).
What we do have is a team full of hard-working individuals and that is all what we fans can expect. I’m pleased with Terry Hawkridge, he seemed to be a questionable signing on paper but he has done very well since joining us. Jorge Grant and Shola Ameobi are our main outlets, Grant offers the creativity and flare – with Ameobi being the muscle and holding-type player.
How is the board doing?
It’s refreshing compared to what we have had to tolerate under the last regime, Alan Hardy appears to be forming a proper board and is using connections to make a real difference. He has also invested a lot of money on the pitch itself, the training facilities and more recently the home team dressing room.
I just feel he should be more aware of the pitfalls of using social media, yet I praise the openness shared by him.
What will Vale fans NOT know about Notts County?
First would easily be the ‘I had a wheelbarrow song’, although some fans may already be aware of the origin to the story. The song was sung against Shewsbury Town in the early 90’s, our fans replicated what they believed the Shrewsbury fans sung themselves and it inspired Notts to come back.
We also share an affiliation with Juventus fans who formed the ‘Italian Magpies’, a relationship which formed after we originally gave them their shirt and we was fortunate enough to open their new stadium in a friendly where Lee Hughes pulled us level.
Any recommended forums or blogs?
Of course, I am biased when I say this but I am proud of what prideofnottingham.co.uk has to offer and we have some brilliant posters. Our social channels bring a mix of reactions and I would highly encourage opposition fans to give us a follow.
How do you expect Vale to do this season?
I think Port Vale will be around the play-offs, I am aware of some struggles with the ownership but the club has some class players within its ranks and I would fully expect them to give the majority of League Two teams a game whilst pushing for a return to League One.
Your most memorable game with Vale?
I would have to say our 4-2 win back in April 2014. It was a very good game to watch, with Jack Grealish being one of the players who largely made a difference. I also recall Jamal Campbell-Ryce putting in one of his better performances, and hot prospect Jimmy Spencer being unlucky not to bag a hat-trick.
What’s your score prediction?
I’d have to say 1-1, with Jonathan Forte getting the goal for Notts. Our away following? Anywhere between 450-600 (if not more).