Notts County have firepower, but must fix leaky defence, warns boss Keith Curle
NOTTS County have the firepower for promotion – but boss Keith Curle has warned they must plug their leaky defence.
They are the second-highest scorers in League One behind leaders Tranmere, with 26 goals in 14 games, but they have let in 15 goals, with only four clean-sheets.
Curle wants his side to make a big splash in the top-six this season, but it could all end in a damp squib if they don't tighten up at the back.
He was a top-class defender in his playing days at Manchester City and it is Curle's priority to make sure the Magpies become rock solid, having watched them throw away victory against Bournemouth at Meadow Lane on Tuesday night by conceding three goals in the second half to draw 3-3.
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"I've never had an issue with us creating chances and scoring goals," he said. "We are always an attacking threat, but we have to make sure we keep the back door shut.
"I don't think we were carved open by Bournemouth, but we didn't defend a ball from a goal kick and then a random ball into our box.
"There's an old saying that you are always at your most vulnerable after you've just scored; and after we scored our third, the next time we touched the ball was to kick off because they'd scored.
"To be successful you have to be ruthless, which means when you're leading 2-0, the second half should be 0-0 at worst. I want us to play entertaining, attacking football, but I also want to win so we have got to tidy up at the back.
"I think everyone saw the best of us in the first half, it was a complete performance, but if you switch off, you are vulnerable."
Notts are still fifth in the table ahead of facing sixth-placed Doncaster Rovers on home soil tomorrow.
They beat Tranmere in midweek and Curle added: "They have just got a fantastic result away so they will be coming here full of beans."