Smith not ticked off with early kick-off times for County

Boro boss says players must remain focused only on beating Brentford

GARY SMITH says he is not concerned with Notts County’s earlier kick-off times this Saturday and next.

The sixth-placed Magpies host Bury this weekend with the match starting at 12.30pm, while Stevenage’s crunch clash with Brentford kicks-off at 3pm. The same will be the case seven days later when Boro’s match at Sheffield United kicks-off at 5.20pm, while County’s match at Wycombe starts at 3pm.

But when asked if this could have a detrimental effect on his team going into the games, in particular this weekend, Smith says it’s important his players remain focused on themselves, and not what is happening elsewhere.

“We have to beat Brentford,” Smith told the Comet. “You’ve got to suspect that Notts County are going to beat Bury at home but with us being at home this is as good a chance as any to keep our run going.

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“I think [the differing kick-off times issue is] more disruptive for them but Notts County’s result is immaterial this weekend, really, because we have to win otherwise if we lose Brentford will go ahead of us.

“I know Notts County still sit in the driver’s seat but with a bit of pressure – they know they’ve got to win – we’ll know the result so we’ll know what we need to achieve.

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“We’ve obviously got to hope that they drop some points somewhere and the game away at Wycombe [next weekend] will not be easy as they’re fighting for their lives.

“Both teams have got to keep themselves well and truly focused on what they’ve got in hand. If you look too far in front you tend to miss what’s under your nose. And what’s under our nose this weekend is a bloody tough team in Brentford who themselves still have their own aspirations of catching Notts County.

“I’ve seen [Brentford] more than anybody, and the times I’ve seen them they’ve played well and won. Up front there is a nice mixture of physicality and pace so it won’t be easy.”

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