UK: Zimbabwean defender Adam Chicksen approaching Notts County’s top of the table Wrexham clash ‘like any other’

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NOTTINGHAM – Notts County’s fixture with Wrexham this Monday has been branded as the biggest the National League has ever seen, but for Adam Chicksen, it’s just another game.

The Magpies defender has been in scintillating form this season, netting a career-best of 11 goals in all competitions this season, bettering the total accumulated for the entirety of his professional career.

Having arrived at Meadow Lane in 2020, the Zimbabwean has not always found his time at the club easy, falling out of favour under previous managers Neal Ardley and Ian Burchnall, seemingly destined for the exit door just a year ago.

But with the dust settling on yet another campaign decided by the play-offs, with Notts losing in the quarter-finals to Grimsby after extra-time, merely 24 hours after that heart-breaking defeat, the 31-year-old found himself back in the gym already preparing for the upcoming season.

“It allows me to push everyone to a certain degree which I feel is that if I hold myself accountable to get to the fittest I can be, I can pull all the lads along to come up to that level, or if someone’s fitter, to get to that level.

“I have to try my hardest the day the season finishes – some people might go away on holiday, some people might enjoy it a different way, but for me, I like to go straight into it straight after and start work again because it is a 46-game season.”

His hard work during pre-season impressed, earning him a one-year deal after establishing himself as a popular figure amongst his team-mates, while also impressing the newly-appointed Luke Williams who was named as the new first-team coach six days earlier.

And the relationship between Chicksen and the Notts boss has blossomed throughout the season, with Williams providing the Zimbabwean the platform to go and express himself out on the pitch, repaying the faith shown in him by becoming one of the most consistent performers this season.

Chicksen explained his immense sense of pride in becoming a regular first-team starter after a difficult couple of years at Meadow Lane but insisted promotion is the only way he can repay the fans who have stuck by him during his three-year stay in the East Midlands.

“I am proud of all the hard work that I put in and all the trust I have earned back from the club and the fans, but that is only done by hard work and dedication.

“I have given everything for the shirt and I am happy I have been able to turn my time around here, but it’s not done until promotion is given back to the club and the fans because that is what they deserve.”

During his professional career, Chicksen has played in some enormous fixtures in fantastic stadiums, but this Monday’s clash with Wrexham offers a unique encounter – something never seen before at this level.

With the Magpies comfortably beating Wealdstone 3-0 at Meadow Lane on Good Friday, Phil Parkinson’s side travelled to West Yorkshire backed by 4,000 fans, only to see goals from Milli Alli and Mani Dieseruvwe compound them to just their third defeat of the season.

Both teams go into the contest level on 100 points with three goals between them in terms of goal difference.

While supporters of both clubs will be losing sleep over the next couple of nights, Chicksen explained that despite the enormity of the fixture, he will approach the game at the Racecourse Ground like any other.

“I keep saying this, I approach every game as a game that I need to win and we need to win – every game is a big game and I take that from the first game of pre-season, all the way until this game so to me, it means it’s another game that we have to go and win and that’s the honest truth.

“It is 11 versus 11, and another game we have to get three points from.”