Garry Birtles: Liddle's Notts County feat is remarkable in the modern era
OVER the course of our two most successful seasons at Nottingham Forest, we played something like 140 games.
And when I say we, I mean a group of no more than 16 players who played those games, amid a flurry of different competitions.
The team was largely only changed through injury, there was no such thing as resting players – you were involved in the majority of fixtures.
I'd hate to find out how many minutes of football we played during the course of those seasons, because it would be eye watering now, at a time when energy levels, fatigue and player fitness are monitored to the most intricate of levels.
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Things have changed, there are few managers who would think about going through an entire season without rotating and resting their squad at some stage.
Which is why it is so gratifying to see Notts County's Gary Liddle and the record he has set so far during the current campaign.
The defender has not only started every game for the Magpies in League One, he has also played every single minute. He has not been substituted once, playing the full 90 minutes in every fixture.
In the modern era, that is a remarkable achievement. I take my hat off to him. Because it is also a sign of the fact that he must have a spot on, professional attitude.
As a player, I would have hated it if I was ever rested or left out of the team for any reason. I still would now. Because, however a manager explains it to you, when you are not in the team, you place is under threat.
Even if the manager believes you need a rest for a bigger game, there is the chance your replacement will have a storming game and keep you out again in the future.
At some stage this season, there will have been a point when Liddle had a slight knock; when he felt tired or in need of a break. It says a lot about the man that he has obviously made himself available regardless.
I hope that, by the end of the season, he can look back on having achieved what, in the current climate, would be the unique achievement of having played every minute of every game for the Magpies.