Notts County ‘were prepared to act quickly’ after losing Nottingham Forest’s Ryan Yates – Alan Hardy

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The Magpies have made a double signing, capturing Matty Virtue on loan from Liverpool and Noor Husin from Crystal Palace – and owner Alan Hardy reflects on an eventful week at Meadow Lane in his weekly Post column

Penning this column on the day of my one-year anniversary as owner and chairman of Notts County, you may expect me to wax lyrical about the brilliant progress we have made as a club over the last 365 days.

But, as proud as I am at everything we have achieved so far at Meadow Lane, there are simply too many big things happening to dwell on the past right now!

This week we faced the immense disappointment of losing Ryan Yates. We’re not naive – we always knew there was a chance it would happen – but that served as little consolation to me on the day Nottingham Forest recalled him.

But it’s in these situations that our meticulous planning comes to the fore. We were prepared to act quickly.

Within hours we had agreed to sign Liverpool Under-23s hotshot Matty Virtue, who arrives with glowing recommendations from some hugely-respected characters within the game.

And, the following day, we announced the permanent signing of Noor Husin from Crystal Palace, who was named in several Premier League squads during Alan Pardew’s tenure.

With Matty, we’re of course hoping to replicate our achievements with Ryan – developing him as a player, benefiting from his performances and showing his parent club we’re a great place for their players to grow.

Development is also the key word with Noor but, crucially, he’s ours – and I hope that’s the case for a very long time because that would mean he’s met the high expectations we set all our players.

I know he’s very keen to seize this opportunity and I’m sure he’ll play a massive part for us in the second half of the season.

The manager and I are in close communication every hour of every day, discussing potential new targets among several other matters.

But I’ll reiterate what I’ve said before – we favour quality over quantity and will only make a move on a player if we feel they will add significant value to our squad.

Away from transfers, this week I was delighted to announce a pioneering ticket offer which I hope will see us pack Meadow Lane’s rafters when we welcome Crewe on Saturday, February 3.

Every supporter, home or away, young or old, will pay only £2 for their ticket. This is a thank you not only to our own supporters, but also to the people of Nottingham for all the support they have given me in my first year in the job.

It’s an opportunity to showcase the amazing work that’s going on at the world’s oldest Football League club and I ask all readers to spread the word among their friends and family as we look to sell out all home areas. All the details are on the club website.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to wish the manager and his team all the best at Lincoln City tomorrow. It’s a massive game and there’s sure to be an electric atmosphere.

Here’s to three points – although a draw would also be a great result.

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