Eastham expects to hear this week on possible return to Notts
NOTTS County expect to find out early this week whether Ashley Eastham will be rejoining them from Blackpool.
The young centre-back returned to his club last week at the end of a one-month loan at Meadow Lane and the Magpies attempts to extend his stay were put on hold while the Seasiders appointed a new boss.
Eastham, who started three league games for Notts, has now met with Michael Appleton and is set to be told if he figures in his plans for the Championship club this season.
"He's going to get back to me early this week," said Magpies' boss Keith Curle.
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"Ashley had a one-to-one with their new manager and was told he's not going to be allowed to go out on loan immediately because he (Appleton) wants to assess his squad.
"I think he's going to be told this week if he's going to figure in their plans or if he's going to be allowed out on loan."
Eastham was not in the Blackpool squad in Appleton's first game in charge on Saturday, on the same day Notts drew 1-1 with Crawley Town in League One at Meadow Lane.
Captain Neal Bishop fired the Magpies 1-0 ahead early in the first half, but Jonathan Forte equalised on 45 minutes.
Notts spurned several glorious scoring chances, with leading-scorer Yoann Arquin guilty of putting two headers over the crossbar from close-range in the first half and Lee Hughes heading wide in the second half just minutes after coming off the subs' bench.
"It's a game we could have won," said Curle.
"We started very well and caused them a lot of problems.
"We had a lot of fluidity in our play, which is something we've been trying to get. The players could have been nervous after a few home defeats on the spin, but they went out there in a positive frame of mind.
"We really took the game to them, but we lacked the cutting edge needed to take all our chances.
"I'm disappointed with the goal we conceded and the timing of it.
"We've got to learn to close games out. When you get to the last couple of minutes of the first half we have to stop the ball coming into our box.
"The ball came in far too easily. It could have been stopped and should have been stopped."
In-form midfielder Bishop has now scored five goals this season – and Curle says he is thriving on the encouragement to get forward into the penalty area.
"He's enjoying the freedom he's got and he's got the willingness and desire to get forward and be a goal threat," he added.
"When he got in there it was a very accomplished finish."
Notts have still not won a league game on home soil since they beat Portsmouth at the end of September, but Curle added: "Everybody will look at the result and that we've not won at home, but I look at the performance and I'm pleased. We got the performance we've been striving for.
"It's been a little bit of a monkey on our back, the games we've lost, but it's heartening the way we played."
Having issued a rallying cry to fans before the game, Curle also praised them for their support of his players.
"I thought they were superb. They really got behind us in the first half and that spurred the players on and even when they scored they stayed with us in the second half," he said.
"If Lee Hughes' chance had gone in in the second half I think they would have lifted the roof off!"