Ian Burchnall makes big decision to halt Notts County slump after shock Halifax defeat

By Leigh Curtis

Michael Doyle is being lined up for a return to Notts County's first team after head coach Ian Burchnall admitted he can help the Magpies learn the art of game management.

Doyle was appointed as the club's assistant head coach in the summer meaning he took a significant step back from his role as a player.

But the Irishman, who still has the shirt number eight, has been told to get his boots ready as Notts aim to end a run of three successive defeats.

After Notts blew a two-goal lead against 10-men Halifax to lose 3-2 on Tuesday, Burchnall conceded Doyle could be crucial in passing on his experience of how to control a game.

"We have discussed it and it's not necessarily that we need Michael to play every game but there might have been a moment against Halifax where he could have come in and settled the environment," he said.

"A lot of what we do will come from the way in which we train and I've said to Doyler maybe you need to get back on the training pitch and help the players understand from a coach on the pitch.

"He did that so well at the back end of last season, he understood what I wanted.

"I remember the Wrexham away game last season where we had a brilliant first half, much like we did at Halifax.

"We did the same against Wrexham last year and in the second half, we kind of got bombarded and the way in which we managed that was excellent.

"Doyler was a big part of that. Part of it is that Doyler will coach the players to understand that.

"Part of it will be that he can be back out on the training pitch.

"But without a doubt, he is still fit and in certain moments can give us something. It's something that we're aware of, and we do have it and it's not something that I haven't considered."

Defeat to Halifax on Tuesday has left them eight points behind leaders Grimsby which is by no means an insurmountable gap.

But it was the manner in which Notts capitulated at the Shay which caused concern and came three days after Notts lost 4-1 at home to Woking when they also squandered a lead.

And Burchnall, whose side travel to Yeovil at the weekend, feels it is the response to conceding goals that needs to be addressed.

"We've got to understand that over the course of the season goals go in but we can't have such a negative reaction," he said.

"When they do we have to bring ourselves together and reorganise.

"Until the red card, when I felt the game unravelled a little bit, I thought it was a very good away performance.

"We were 2-0 up and looked very stable. We have to remember why we're in that position and what put us there.

"We started to chase the game and chase the result even at 2-1.

"When we're 2-1 up, I still felt like we're so desperate to chase that third goal to close it, that we leave ourselves vulnerable and a bit open to counter-attacks.

"We just have to completely manage the game and kill the opposition at that moment.

"And I think that is a mindset to be able to do that, to stay focused and disciplined even with a setback within the game."


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