Harrogate Town v Notts County: It's just another game for Magpies old boy Jon Stead

Harrogate Town striker Jon Stead says that Tuesday night's National League clash with previous club Notts County is just another game, as far as he is concerned.

Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 8:44 am
Jon Stead in action for Notts County. Picture: Getty Images

The 36-year-old ex-Premier League hitman left Meadow Lane this summer after four seasons as a Magpie, but hasn't had to wait to long for a re-union with his former employers.

"I've faced former clubs over the years but this is probably the soonest it's been in the following season," Stead told Town's website.

"It's exactly the same [as any other fixture] I can't treat it any different. You just have to go into the game with the same mindset that you do for any other match.

"Almost maybe try and be even more professional and don't let any sentiment or any things you have for a previous club affect how you are going to perform on the day."

The Notts side that will likely line-up against Town on Tuesday evening will bear little resemblance to the one that Stead was a part of last term, with Magpies boss Neal Ardley having added 11 new players since May's relegation from the Football League.

"I'll see some old faces which will be nice, but they've got some new players in as well, so as far as the team, I think it'll be much-changed," Stead added.

"I don't know a lot about them now regarding the playing staff so it'll be a bit of an unknown when it comes to tomorrow night."

Despite the positivity surrounding the recent takeover of the club by a Danish consortium led by brothers Alexander and Christoffer Reedtz, County have made a slow start to life in the fifth tier, bagging just a single point thus far.

An opening-day defeat to Eastleigh was followed by a draw with Stockport before they went down 2-1 at home to Barnet on Saturday.

Part of the problem is that Ardley's new-look team has been hastily assembled and is yet to really gel due to him working under a transfer embargo until the end of July when the Reedtz brothers took charge.

By contrast, eight of the 12 players who have been used from the start of Town's opening three National League fixtures were first-team regulars last term.

In fact, all of that number bar Jack Muldoon were part of the squad that achieved promotion from National League North in 2017/18.

Manager Simon Weaver has been consistent in terms of his team selection thus far, though he will be forced to make at least one change for the visit of Notts, with central midfielder Lloyd Kerry set to be sidelined for at least four weeks with ankle ligament damage sustained at Woking.

County, meanwhile, will be without the services of captain Michael Doyle and Damien McCrory as both men serve the final game of a three-match suspension. Midfielder Jim O'Brien is also an injury doubt.

Kick-off at the CNG Stadium is at 7.45pm.