Next up as we review next season’s opponents - Notts County.
Nicknames: The Magpies, County, Notts
Club Colours: Black & White
Who are they?
Widely recognised as the oldest professional football club, County were formed in 1862 and became a founding member of the Football League in 1881. During their early years, County also had success in the FA Cup, winning the tournament in 1894 having lost out to Blackburn Rovers in 1891.
After a drop down the divisions, it took until the 1960s for further success to come when Scot Jimmy Sirrell was appointed as manager. He clinched the Fourth Division title in his first season before securing another promotion to the Second Division. He later departed for Sheffield United but returned two years later, guiding the side back to the top division.
Another fall down the leagues followed, but Neil Warnock guided the Magpies back to the top flight before they were swiftly relegated again.
The past twenty years have seen the Magpies remain in the lower tiers of the Football League, mainly in League One and League Two.
Did You Know?
+ Italian club Juventus took their black and white striped shirts from those of Notts County, with the Magpies playing a friendly match at the opening of the Old Lady’s new stadium in 2011.
+ Notts have played more Football League games than any other club, having racked up also 5,000 games during their 155-year history.
+ The club’s now famous Wheelbarrow Song originated in the 1988-89 season, after a trip to Wembley to face Tranmere Rovers.
How did they get on last season?
After a poor start to the season that saw Notts County dangerously close to the drop zone, the appointment of Kevin Nolan saw a surge up the table. Some astute signings, including that of ex-Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi, saw the side climb away from relegation danger and secure a respectable 16th place finish.
Who’s in charge?
Kevin Nolan is in the hotseat at Meadow Lane after taking charge in January of this year. The ex-Bolton and West Ham midfielder made over 530 appearances during his playing career, before taking the step into management with Leyton Orient in 2016.
His spell at The O’s lasted only six months, before he left the club in July. He joined Notts County with the side in relegation danger, but inspired a turnaround in fortunes during the second half of the season.
How has their summer transfer business looked?
Two new players have joined the ranks at Meadow Lane this summer - former Morecambe and Hartlepool attacker Lewis Alessandra and winger Terry Hawkridge were snapped up by Nolan.
A number of players have also committed their futures to the club, with Jon Stead, Shola Ameobi, Richard Duffy, Elliott Hewitt, Hayden Hollis and Robert Milson signing new deals.
They’ve Played For Both
All-action midfielder Liam Noble has played for both the Blues and Notts County. He initially joined United on loan from Sunderland, with the move made permanent after a further spell on loan. He made a total of 130 appearances while at Brunton Park, scoring 20 goals and helping the side to a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy triumph. After leaving United, he joined Notts and spent two years at Meadow Lane - racking up 70 appearances and 13 goals for the Magpies.
Current Notts stopper Adam Collin will also be well-known to United fans, while manager Keith Curle also spent time in charge at County.
Memorable Meeting - Notts County 0-5 Carlisle (7 May 2016)
On the final day of the 2016 season, United put Notts to the sword at Meadow Lane with a clinical display. Alex Gilliead handed the Blues the lead after just four minutes with Danny Grainger and Jabo Ibehre extending the lead before half-time. Ibehre added a second just before the hour mark before Charlie Wyke rounded off the scoring.
When Did We Last Meet?
Our last meeting came on 8 April 2017 as Notts came from behind to win at Brunton Park. Jabo Ibehre netted the opener, before two goals in the last five minutes from Jon Stead and Matt Tootle saw the visitors steal victory.
Watch highlights from our 3-2 away victory last December here:
When Do We Meet Next?
Notts travel to Brunton Park on 21 October with the return trip to Meadow Lane coming on Tuesday 13 February.