Neal Ardley believes Notts County will go into Saturday’s derby at Mansfield in good spirits despite a 2-0 defeat in the Checkatrade Trophy at Sunderland.
The County chief says he saw plenty to be positive about in his first game as manager.
“We went toe-to-toe with Sunderland and can take some positives from a game against a very tough team,” he said
“The first half was particularly pleasing. I thought we had the better chances and their goalkeeper made a great save to keep Kristian Dennis’ header out before they took the lead in a fortunate manner.
“We got plenty of crosses into the box and had multiple players looking to get on the end of them so we just need to start taking those chances.
“We won’t play a side that good again this season and I saw signs of the things we’ve been working on to give us the best chance of winning games.”
And he could find a place in his side for veteran striker Jon Stead, who played the last 30 minutes at the Stadium of Light.
“We had to be careful with Steady to ensure he didn’t pick up another injury and half an hour was the advice we were given,” he added.
“Hopefully every minute he gets fitter and we can see more of him at Mansfield.”