Notts County boss Keith Curle tells striker Enoch Showunmi: "It's payback time"
NOTTS County boss Keith Curle has told Enoch Showunmi: "It's payback time."
The big striker has finally scored his first league goal for the Magpies five long months after arriving at Meadow Lane as the club's new No.9 – and Curle says he owes them more goals now.
Showunmi got off the mark in their last game against Oldham Athletic, tapping in from two yards in the first half to fire Notts to a 1-0 win, which was their first home league victory in two months.
He now looks set to start at Leyton Orient tomorrow, with Francois Zoko still suspended, and Curle said: "He has got to come to the fore now.
"He has got to follow up that goal – that's the challenge for him.
"He has shown he can be a goal threat and the key thing is he's starting to believe that he is going to score goals and belief is massive.
"He's had a frustrating time this season, but that goal will have done him the world of good – and it will be even better if he gets two in two."
Showunmi's winner against the Latics has lifted Notts back into the top-half of League One ahead of their trip to London, after they had slipped down to 14th.
It also followed a 1-1 draw against big boys Sheffield United last Saturday, in which they fought back from going 1-0 down after just 67 seconds and down to ten men midway through the first half when Zoko was sent off.
Alan Judge struck a late leveller and after picking up four points in four days, the Magpies look to be getting their promotion challenge back on track after a blip at the end of last year.
With games in-hand on every team above them, Curle is confident Notts can quickly rise back the table, saying his side were back to their best at times against Oldham.
"The football we played in the first half was exceptional," he said.
"We kept our shape well, got the ball into the right areas very quickly and gave them a lot of problems.
"We could easily have scored a few more goals.
"We could have put the game out of sight and I don't think they could have had any complaints.
"It became a different game in the second half because of their aggressive style of play, but we stood up to the test and didn't go onto the back foot.
"The only disappointing thing is we didn't play as much football as we wanted to, but you have to give them credit for stopping us doing that.
"It was a complete performance – we played good football and then defended well when we needed to."
Showunmi was the match-winning hero, but Gary Liddle saved Notts in the second half with a super goal-line clearance to deny Oldham an equaliser – and Curle says it shows just how much his players want success.
"Every player was ready to give that little bit extra to stop them and make sure we won – like Gary Liddle, who can spot danger a mile off and make sure he's in the right place at the right time to make an important clearance," he said.
"It's not the first time he's done it this season and I'm sure it won't be the last.
"At 1-0 there was a bit of nervousness because of our recent home record, but the players showed a lot of character and we got the win we deserved.
"The move for the goal was excellent. It was the pass of the season from Andre (Boucaud), who is good enough to play higher than this.
"It was a killer pass, made even better by the run and movement of Jamal (Campbell-Ryce).
"Once he gets on a run he's hard to stop and then Enoch finished it off."
The Magpies are also hard to stop away from Meadow Lane.
They have still not lost a game on the road since Curle took charge almost a year ago and are on a club record run of 22 games unbeaten.
They will be confident of extending it to 23 games against Orient, who are three places below them in 15th.
"We needed to build on the performance against Sheffield United with a win against Oldham – and we did," said Curle. "We were excellent and we would have given any team in this division a run for their money.
"We have to do it again against Orient now."