Notts County manager Stuart Maynard revealed his frustration following his side’s 3-1 defeat against Gillingham at Meadow Lane last night.
The Magpies have hit a poor run of form at the wrong time and are now five games without a win. As a result, they have now slipped out of the play-off places, replaced by last night’s victors.
Dan Crowley gave the hosts the perfect start when he hit a superb strike from the edge of the box after just 13 minutes. However, County’s lead lasted just six minutes after Oliver Hawkins headed Gillingham level.
Max Clark’s clever finish 10 minutes before the break gave Stephen Clemence’s side the advantage and Conor Masterson wrapped up the points shortly after half time when he pounced on a goalmouth scramble.
Maynard was understandably frustrated following the game and his side could slip to as low as 11th later today if results don’t go their way. Speaking in the aftermath, via the club’s official website, the 43-year-old said:
“It was the perfect start. It was a great finish from Dan (Crowley), and I thought within periods that we hurt them within that first 25 minutes. Then we kind of reverted and some of the defending of our box was really poor.
“We all know it as a group and it’s collectively as a group, but defensively it wasn’t good enough. The goals that we’ve conceded are very frustrating. Frustrating for the fans, frustrating for us, they’re frustrating for everyone, but we knew that when we came into the building that defending our box was an issue. We knew it was something that we had to work on.
“We’ve kind of solved a few problems and you can see the structure behind the ball. That’s something now that we’ve got to get back on the training ground and work hard on it because going forward at times, we’re unplayable, but we’ve got to make sure we keep the ball out of the net.”
County have not picked up a win since the turn of the year, although the ex-Wealdstone boss refused to single out just his back line, reiterating that the loss is down to the group as a whole. However, he found it difficult to hide his disappointment:
“Look, I just think that when you concede the types of goals that we’ve conceded tonight, it’s frustrating because realistically they’ve (Gillingham) had three entries into our box in the first half and they’ve scored two goals. It’s not good enough.
“For where we want to be as a football club, it’s not good enough. It’s not good enough for where we want to be as a management team and it’s not good enough for where the players want to be.
“The players are hurting in there, they’re really hurting. They know that it’s not good enough.
“That’s the biggest thing in football. When you come away from it, you’ve got to understand and know when it’s not good enough and we understand that tonight wasn’t good enough.”
Notts County travel to Newport Town on Tuesday night before renewing their recent rivalry with Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground next weekend.
Many will point to the departure of Luke Williams last month as a turning point in their season, but the truth is that their form had shown signs that it was beginning to falter before then. Notts County now face a very real battle to secure a play-off place and face two very important fixtures over the course of the next week.
A gap is starting to open up on the teams above them, which could increase further should sixth-placed MK Dons beat Accrington Stanley this afternoon. It’s going to be a nervy week at Meadow Lane, and they really need at least four points from their next two outings.