Kevin Nolan: Notts County boss 'astounded' by criticism of back-to-back defeats

Ross Fitzsimons sent off for Notts County
Notts County goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons was sent off in stoppage-time

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan says he finds it "astounding" that he has been given a hard time by some fans after two defeats in four days.

County have lost three of their past five league games, including the 2-1 home defeat by Crawley on Tuesday.

But they are second in League Two and in the fourth round of the FA Cup, in which they face Swansea on Saturday.

"No one envisaged us being where we are at this stage of the season," 35-year-old Nolan told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"I am proud of these lads. I don't have to defend myself. This is the first time all season we have lost two on the bounce and people are starting to criticise me. I find it astounding."

The five teams immediately below Notts have games in hand on the Magpies following the loss against Crawley.

Having fallen behind, Nolan's side levelled at 1-1 thanks to a Jon Stead penalty.

But after Matty Virtue was sent off in injury time for his second booking, goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons kicked out at a player following a corner and was also dismissed.

Josh Payne scored from the resulting spot-kick to earn victory for Harry Kewell's side.

"Ross has been fantastic since he's come in," said Nolan, who was appointed Notts boss in January 2017.

"But he knows he's done wrong. We will rally around and make sure he learns from this."

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