Christian Smith doesn’t expect Saturday’s hosts Guiseley can play as badly as they did in the 3-0 defeat at York Road earlier in the season.

The central midfielder, who deputised to great acclaim for the suspended Alan Massey in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Torquay, expects a tough test from the Lions at Nethermoor Park, and Wednesday’s sacking of manager Paul Cox should give the home side an added incentive. Smith had no qualms about dropping back to help out the Magpies’ defence on Saturday, and will do so again if called upon for this week’s double header against Guiseley on Saturday and Eastleigh at home on Tuesday.

“A lot of people don’t know but I’ve played there many times before,” he said. “At Chelmsford in particular.

“The gaffer spoke to me about it on the Thursday, with Massey being out, and it wasn’t a problem for me.”

Smith lined up alongside Jake Goodman, Ryan Peters and Max Kilman in an unfamiliar back four, with Alan Massey, Rene Steer and Remy Clerima all on the sidelines. The Magpies’ unfamiliar back line did an excellent job stifling the Gulls on Saturday, and couldn’t really be blamed for either of their goals.

“Without Massey and Remy in particular it was difficult for us,” he said. “But I thought we managed quite well.

“Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot we could do about their first strike, and their second goal has just hit the guy and gone in. We were 1-0 down at half-time but I can only remember them having that one shot.

“At the start of the second half they created a few more chances but I thought we defended them quite well.”

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