Magpies move up pecking order

Loan switch: Lloyd Sam has been signed by Keith Curle
Loan switch: Lloyd Sam has been signed by Keith Curle
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IT WAS a result which sent shockwaves around the division.

The final scoreline at The Valley read ‘Charlton Athletic 2 Notts County 4’.

There were plenty of disbelieving looks and bewildered faces in the press box at Hillsborough last weekend as the runaway leaders of League One suffered a heavy home loss.

Since Keith Curle, formerly of Sheffield United, was appointed The Magpies manager, the club have surged into the play-off placings, having taken 16 points from a possible 18.

They now entertain Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow and Sheffield United next Tuesday looking to strengthen their top-six credentials as they look to return to the second tier for the first time since 1995.

Curle, who still lives in Sheffield, has bolstered his squad this week for the run-in, signing Leeds winger Lloyd Sam on loan until the end of the season.

The 27-year-old, who had a brief loan stint at Hillsborough in 2006, is looking forward to facing his old club.

“I played for Sheffield Wednesday for a month earlier in my career so it’s a good first game to come into,” he said.

“I can’t wait. It’s such a big game.”

Nine years ago, Sam began his career with Charlton before leaving the Addicks to join Leeds in 2010.

A bumper crowd is expected at Meadow Lane, with the Owls set to bring 4,500 followers and Sam, who confirmed a phone call from Curle persuaded him to leave Elland Road, is determined to make an impact.

“I’m really excited about joining Notts because they are in the play-offs and they are in great form at the moment, winning almost every game,” he said.

“It is also a club with a lot of history and they have a lot of good players. It’s flattering they want me.

“I’m really looking forward to playing for them.

“I spoke to the manager (Curle) and he told me he wants me to play with freedom, be creative and express myself. It was music to my ears.

“I’m sure the style of football Notts play will suit me because I like to get wide, take players on and get a lot of crosses in.

“I like scoring goals, but I’m more of a creator.

“There is so much to play for and I really hope I can help Notts win promotion.

“Everyone wants to be involved in some success in their career and it would be great if we did it.”

Curle, a coach under Neil Warnock at Queens Park Rangers, is also believed to have expressed an interest in Billy Paynter.

The striker has fallen down in the pecking order at Elland Road and Curle is thought to be monitoring the player’s situation.

County chief Curle is calling on the Notts fans to get behind his team for the Sheffield double, saying: “We want our fans bouncing, knowing the players are going to go out and perform. We need them to enjoy watching the players showcasing their abilities.”

Teams and ref

MAGPIES (possible); Nelson, Freeman, Chilvers, Stewart, Sheehan, J Hughes, Mahon, Bishop, Sam, Judge, Forte, L Hughes (4-4-2).

OWLS (possible): Bywater, Buxton, Batth, R Jones, R Johnson, Antonio, Semedo, Lines, M Jones, Lowe, Madine (4-4-2).

Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire): 94 bookings and 11 red cards in 26 outings this term. Took charge