Notts County can move to within two points of Cambridge United if they win their relegation battle with the U’s at Meadow Lane on Saturday.
Ahead of the crucial match, Neal Ardley spoke in glowing terms of recent loan recruit Ryan Schofield. The highly-rated England Under-20 international goalkeeper has joined the Magpies until the end of the season after joining from Huddersfield Town.
Ardley told Nottinghamshire Live “He has got all the attributes and the goalkeeping coach who works with him has worked with some top, top goalkeepers.”
“He puts him right up there. He’s a big imposing lad and he talks really, really, well.”
“He’s got a mature head on his shoulders and he is very, very confident and we believe he will add to our goalkeeping department in a big way.”
The signing comes after news that winger Terry Hawkridge would be leaving the club and left-back Cedric Evina had extended his contract until the end of the season. Ardley has acted quickly in a bid to bolster a squad that sits bottom of the league having already signed Brighton defender Ben Barclay and Bradford midfielder Jim O’Brien.
In stark contrast, Cambridge United manager Colin Calderwood was unable to give any positive transfer news at the Abbey Stadium. Speaking to the Cambridge Evening News, a frustrated Calderwood said: “We thought we had someone, but until it’s completely done it’s never over the line, and we’ve experienced that this week.”
“We did think we had somebody who would join us today but it’s not happened.”
“We will continue to search and probe and try to add to the group because we will need a couple of additions to help the group first and foremost. We have to have a bit more depth and quality.”
United go into the match having bounced back from the 6-0 drubbing at MK Dons with a home win over Stevenage while County earnt a valuable point at Colchester last time out.
The game is set to be watched by a large crowd with the Magpies slashing admission prices and the Amber Army taking over 1500 supporters to Nottingham.
Five points currently separate the sides at the bottom of League Two and Ardley appealed to County supporters to get behind his team. Speaking via the clubs website, he urged them to “cheer every little thing” and “take any anxiety and apprehension, put it to one side between 3pm and 5pm and get behind the players as much as possible during the 90 minutes.”
Ardley has been the busier of the two managers and Magpie supporters will be hoping the freshening up of the squad leads to three valuable points on Saturday. Calderwood meanwhile will be hoping he can turn around United’s dreadful away form which has seen them lose their last five on their travels. Its only January but this game is crucial for both teams. Our view is County will come out on top and narrow the gap on their rivals.