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Fan Focus - Notts County (FAC3) Post-Match Views

Well, things do according to plan for us, but our Fan Focus-ers from Notts County were delighted to say the least! Here's the first of our boys, Stuart Brothers from the WellyPie Blog with his thoughts on a historic day out for the Magpies...

So, let me get this straight, you're really a League One team? Because any neutral watching wouldn't have thought that today! Well done, how pleased are you?

Stuart: Incredibly! My nerves are completely shot to pieces after enduring that second half though! Woke up this morning still confident, but thought to myself worst case scenario, if we're going to lose I'd at least like a goal to celebrate! No such fears in the end.

You start to realise the enormity of the task as you walk into the stands, the Stadium of Light is just magnificent. Fortunately though, we have a squad that isn't daunted by aesthetics and gets down to work when they're needed to. At times we were at our sloppiest for a while today, but we got the job done!

Ben Davies was very impressive, and you mentioned he may be on the move. Can you hold on to him really?

Stuart: It's days like this actually that give you hope that we can actually. There's always the feeling that FA Cup can be seen as a shop window for lower league talents, but I think Davies and Notts' circumstances are a little different.

Last season, the side had a real siege mentality, backs were to the wall every week and it drove us on to the league. Ben knows he's onto a good thing with Notts, and when we get results like today you hope it'll remind him of that and that he'll stick around that bit longer.

They're negotiating as we speak on an extension, if it gets signed it'd be a huge relief!

Lee Hughes got the crucial goal, after some booing. Inevitable wasn’t it?

Stuart: Called it in my pre-match piece for you. The man only needs half a chance and he'll punish you. Whilst you guys will concentrate on your defending, we're still trying to figure out how the guy got the ball in from that angle, a truly ridiculous finish!

Have to put my hand up and admit that a couple of months ago I'd suggested that Hughes would not be up to the task of carrying our hopes this season. Since then I think he's only failed to score in one game. Just shows to me that no one can bet against him.

Were you surprised by how poorly we played?

Stuart: In the first half, I was stunned. I mean, there were periods where a few of us would be looking around at each other, just puzzled at how ordinary your lads were playing.

Second half it was like we were playing a different team, some of your passing play really impressed me, and it pretty much felt like backs to the wall for the duration of the half.

Was nice today to have a game officiated by a Premiership official too! Stuart Atwell, what an inept bump! Forgetting for a moment the blatant fouls on our lads that he missed, he also failed to spot a blatant penalty for you in the first half! Had that been given I suspect we'd have had a very different outcome!

Can you pick out any star men for Sunderland, as I'm struggling!?

Stuart: I'm trying my hardest to be gracious in victory but I would honestly struggle. Can remember plenty of times in the first half where it looked like Darren Bent might get a sniff, he always looked a danger to me.

When he did get a sniff though, he struck nothing but from six yards! Similar to the penalty, could've been a very different game had he shown some composure!

One person I would single out for you lot though would be Asamoah Gyan... where was he all afternoon?!

Who do you want in the next round?

Stuart: This was discussed long and hard on the way home! Having beaten the side sixth in the Premiership quite obviously we're not going to fear a single team in the draw! But there is a few romantic options, such as Forest, maybe Leicester (Sven and all that), I wouldn't personally mind a shot at Wolves to right some League Cup wrongs from earlier this season.

Sod it, I'll be predictable and say a big club who'll bring some stars to Meadow Lane! The likes of Spurs or a Man City are my preference. Won't complain about a smaller club though if it means being in the Fifth Round again at the end of it!

What are your predictions for both our clubs for the rest of the season?

Stuart: We're flying, and the feeling now is that this season is shaping up to be something special again. Paul Ince is working wonders for us now and (again) we're not going to fear anyone!

You guys will be fine, certainly pushing for (at least) Europa League I think. I don't want to patronise, but if today seems like one of the darker days for you, just take into account the amount of changes made and the injury list you have right now. There's absolutely no way that wouldn't have made an impact.

Well, congratulations today. It's not hard to see the best team won. Good luck for the rest of the season!

Stuart: Good luck yourselves too. Thanks I guess for a truly fantastic day out!

You can hear more from Stuart, on his blog; The WellyPie Football blog, or catch him on Twitter too.

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