It's Capital One Cup time! We spoke Notts County supporter Chris from the Pride of Nottingham for his views on the Magpies' trip to Villa Park.
Talk a little bit about the season so far. You've started the season with a win and two losses (not including a victory over Huddersfield Town in the first round of the Capital One Cup). How are you feeling about the start?
PON: At this stage in the season I think we should all expect a loss here and there, the concern is if it continues. Mansfield and Oxford are two different games, yet are equally tough. When you play a local derby, chances are one team will be fired up and that will always make it difficult for the other. It's a shame we never really got started, yet Mansfield got their tactics spot on.The opening game away to Stevenage really impressed me and despite the back to back defeats, I am still optimistic because anyone who understands football, will see that a new manager, playing style and 18 signings will require time to see fall into plan properly.
Note: After we talked with Chris, Notts County drew 1-1 with Accrington Stanley over the weekend ahead Tuesday's match.
Ricardo Moniz came aboard in April, but was unable to keep the club afloat. What style of play does he bring to the club? Is he the man to take Notts County back up?
PON: I have to be honest, I was one of few magpies to be disappointed by the decision to sack Shaun Derry. In hindsight, I believe the decision was warranted.At this stage we haven't seen his playing style mastered, yet we have seen two impressive games in Stevenage and Huddersfield. It's clear that Ricardo Moniz wants Notts to playing with an attacking philosophy and the signs so far are promising. I believe we have a man manager and if he's allowed to do his job, whilst being supported 100% by us fans - I do believe he will be the man to bring success back to this football club.
Notts County made no less than 18 (!) new signings over the summer. Was this a case of cleaning house after relegation? How are all the new signings settling in?
PON: Last season we lost much of our backbone to sides like Bradford City, simply the squad wasn't good enough to withstand the heavy pressure of defaults and the options towards our downfall really came about because we didn't replace people properly.I always felt even when relegation was looming, Notts needed to have a clear out but I wanted us to at least keep 11 or so players. For me, Roy Carroll had to be convinced to stay and thankfully he did. Some of the new signings we haven't seen yet, but in pre-season all looked to have their qualities.We have now formed a reserve team which we haven't had for many years now, so I assume some will be for the future but players like Stead, Aborah, Swerts are settling in very well.
Villa fans will recognize the name of Graham Burke, the youngster who was on loan at Notts County before Villa released him at the end of last season. He's now joined Notts County on a permanent basis - how is he faring?
PON: Pre-season he did okay for us, yet he picked up an injury and has only just returned. I am excited about his prospects and I believe that he's a quality signing.He came on in our local derby against Mansfield and he did bring change with him. We started to get more time on the ball, which sadly when he was able to whip balls into the box by this stage our squad wasn't getting on the end of them.I am pleased he's back, as I do feel he will be one of our key players this season.
We may recognize Burke and former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll, but give us one Notts County player we haven't heard of who Villa should watch out for.
PON: Stanley Aborah - He's been class so far. He comfortable on the ball, he opens space up and passes nicely throughout the pitch. He can also take on players, showing some very talented trickery but what impresses me the most is the fact he defends well, then looks to use the ball however best at that stage in the game.
Is promotion a reasonable goal for this upcoming season? Or is going right back up the season after relegation too much to ask?
PON: I don't think it's too much to ask, yet it all depends on if Ricardo Moniz can stamp his mark onto the new playing squad. I think clearly we have the ability to gain promotion, it's just a case of ironing out some flaws which are costing us right now.Likewise, I wouldn't be disappointed if Notts narrowly missed out because League Two isn't 'easy' and no team has a right to gain promotion automatically based on being potentially better than other clubs. It must be down to hard work, which I hope will be the case within the 2015-16 season.
Finally, after upsetting Championship side Huddersfield Town in the first round, do you think the Magpies can pull off another upset at Villa Park?
PON: I genuinely believe that the League Cup game against Aston Villa will be one which sees Notts play well, hoping bringing out the squads ambition and allowing to push on within our own season.No doubt it's a difficult game, yet it was one I and my friend Joe Jones wanted after we had knocked out Huddersfield and I believe Villa will see a good game from Notts. Yet I can say one thing, Villa fans should be impressed by the backing us supporters give and it will be an impressive night for all.
A huge thank you to Chris for answering our questions. Be sure to head over to the Pride of Nottingham to read up on our Cup opponents!