By Tony Leighton
It's a dozen new signings and counting at Notts County as manager Keith Curle rings the changes for an npower League 1 season in which the Magpies are aiming to go at least one better than their seventh place finish last term.
They have made a fine start to the League campaign, bouncing back from a Capital One Cup first round defeat by Bradford City to become one of only three clubs in the division to have won each of their first two outings.
A third successive victory on Saturday, when they entertain a Walsall side that have taken just one point from their first two outings, would suggest that County have quickly gelled as a unit despite the massive changes in personnel.
But Curle, who says that two further signings are imminent, told football-league.co.uk: "The team is still gelling - no matter how many pre-season games you play you need that first competitive game to get you started.
"The Capital One Cup tie against Bradford did that for us. Losing it gave the lads a bit of a kick up the back side, but not in a bad way - it was the catalyst for the two performances and results we've had in the League.
"The aim going into the season was to be competitive in every game and that's what we'll be against Walsall. We want to play free-flowing, entertaining, attacking football to excite the supporters but of course we want to win.
"We're still finding out about each other though, so it's going to be a work in progress for a while. We'll grow together through adversity as well as the good times, but the more games we win together the closer the unit will become."
Winning is a nice habit that Curle got his team into last season, the Magpies collecting 10 victories and only three defeats in the 16 matches they played after the former Mansfield Town, Chester City and Torquay United boss took charge in February.
They just missed out on a Play-Offs place but, despite the summer transfers in, out and ongoing, the impetus has been maintained into the new campaign. Curle is still not satisfied, however. "I'll never be happy because of where I want to go," he said.
"Where I want to go is upwards, and that's the exciting thing about the challenge we've got - there's more to come from the players here, individually and collectively, and we're trying to mould them and shape them into a winning unit.
"I was only here for a fraction of last season so as far as I'm concerned I'll be judged on this season. We're trying to pick up the baton from last season and we've made a good start, but I won't pay any attention to the League table until 14 or 15 games in."
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