Paul Taylor column: Time for patience, not panic, at Meadow Lane
GIVEN that their recent past included money-spinning cup ties against Manchester City and Sunderland, Notts County will have been in optimistic mood on Tuesday evening.
Heading into an FA Cup replay against League Two Rotherham, the Magpies might have had one eye on a potential third round clash with Aldershot – and, beyond that, the chance to take on another Premier League big gun.
It was the performance, as much as the result, that had some Notts County fans calling for Keith Curle's head in the aftermath of a one-sided 3-0 defeat against Rotherham.
And, given their recent run includes only one win in eight games, it is easy to understand their frustration.
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But, statistics can be used to argue many points – and there are others that should be enough to ensure Curle is given more time to stamp his influence on the Magpies.
The first is that, under his tenure Notts are still to lose a single game away from home dating back to last season.
The second is that, despite their recent dip, they are still just six points – two wins – behind leaders Tranmere in the League One table.
There is room for improvement, particularly when it comes to results at Meadow Lane – but if Curle can achieve that, there is no reason why the season cannot still be a success one for the club.
Spend just a short amount of time in Curle's company and he comes across as an intelligent, considered man who believes in what he is trying to implement.
As long as those around him continue to have faith in those methods; in his long-term plan, then he should be given a chance.
In just three years, Curle is the seventh man to take the helm at Meadow Lane.
Starting 2013 with an eighth new boss would be a knee-jerk reaction.