Neal Ardley has revealed that the sickening leg injury suffered by midfielder Jim O’Brien during last Saturday’s FA Trophy victory at Chesterfield has mentally scarred the whole Notts County squad.

O’Brien was making his comeback after recovering from breaking his arm in September, but lasted less than half an hour before an accidental clash saw him leave the field with a long and deep gash in his thigh which required both internal and external stitches.

“We’ve had to give Jim a few days off,” said Ardley, still clearly shaken by the severity of the freak accident.

“There was a really solemn feel about us, even though we won on Saturday. Jim is a popular lad and we all know how hard he had worked over a number of months to get back, then 26 minutes into the game and he’s looking at another spell on the sidelines.”

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