This season has been a difficult one for Notts County fans. The Nottingham club are in a position where relegation out of the football league is a real possibility. Christmas is fast approaching and with almost half of the season behind them, they’ll need to improve on their three league wins if they’re to stay up, and Jon Stead is the man to pull them out of it.
The 35-year-old striker has scored goals his entire career and in 14 games this season he’s already bagged himself four, with two of those coming during County wins. However, it won’t be plain sailing for the veteran front-man to get back into the side and score goals, especially seeing as he hasn’t been included in a matchday squad since the end of October. Neil Ardley should be looking to the front-man to save them this season and may be forced to put him back in soon.
Stead joined the Magpies in summer 2015, initially penning a two-year contract. In his first two seasons with the club, the striker was the club’s top scorer and this season could see him take the same title if he can make a swift return to first-team action. Stead is just three goals away from bringing up his 50 for the club and Meadow lane will be calling out for him before long if he isn’t reintroduced into the squad sooner or later.
At the age of 35, you can see why no manager would want to rely on Stead, but beggars simply cannot be choosers and when Stead is a man who gets goals, you have to play him when things get tough. Unfortunately for the League Two strugglers, it looks like things won’t be getting much tougher than they already are and the ex-Sunderland man will have to step up to the mark and try to better his tallies of 13, 14 and 13 from his first three seasons at Meadow Lane.
The good news is that Stead won’t be on his own when it comes to scoring the goals at the club. Ardley has other options who can utilise up front alongside the 35-year-old in the form of Kristian Dennis and Enzio Boldewijn. Although with Boldewijn facing a few months on the sidelines, Stead will need to step up and grab some big goals, as he has already done this season with his winner against bottom club Macclesfield proving decisive.