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League One

Graft underpins Magpie's record

21 October 2012

Notts County manager Keith Curle insists his side's work ethic is the key to their club record unbeaten away run after it was stretched to 14 at Coventry with a 2-1 win.

Andre Boucaud gave the visitors a first-half lead with a fantastic low drive from 30 yards before Yoann Arquin appeared to have sealed the win five minutes from time. Richard Wood pulled one back with an 88th-minute header for Coventry to set up a tense ending, but it was too little, too late.

Curle said: "If players don't buy into our work ethic then they won't be accepted into the group. That's not just the 11 starters, that's the whole squad of players that have that work ethic. I thought we looked a threat on the break, but that was down to our work ethic in nullifying their threats.

"They have some good players like David McGoldrick, Callum Ball and John Fleck, so they have goal threats all over the pitch, but it gives us confidence that we are able to nullify that."

Speaking of Boucaud's opener, Curle added: "I'm not going to take anything away from Andre because I have been encouraging him to get into shooting positions, but I thought the keeper had it covered and felt there was a slight deflection that took it away from the goalkeeper.

"Andre is known as being our ball-player and our passer, but he can also score goals and slice teams open when he can get into those forward positions."

The result ended City's five-game unbeaten run and saw them slip into the bottom four.

Manager Mark Robins called for his players to replicate the qualities of their opponents ahead of their trip to Brentford on Tuesday.

"The two goals are both as bad as each other," he said. "The first one is an organisational thing where the players have sat deep and one of them has got to go and actually put some pressure on the ball and take a ball in the stomach or the nether regions. The second one is about going with their runners.

"You have got to be brave like the Notts County players that are throwing themselves in front of shots, certainly Neal Bishop, that's his job. We need to make sure we have somebody that is going to do that job."

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