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Ardley would ‘love’ to be the man tasked with bringing Notts County back up

Neil Ardley wants the chance to take Notts County back up next season after their 131-year stay in the Football League was ended following a 3-1 final-day defeat at Swindon.

A brace from Theo Robinson and a goal from Kaiyne Woolery sealed County’s relegation from League Two as Swindon came from behind to take all three points.

Ardley, who took charge in November said: “I don’t think it’s right to talk about my future, I’m hurting at the moment.

“There’s so much going on at this club, so much uncertainty, no-one knows who’s taking over, when they’re taking over, what their plans are. There’s so many questions.

“These next two, three, six months to a year there’s going to be a tough rebuilding job here and the sooner everything gets sorted, the better.

“I would love to be the man at the helm rebuilding but I’ve got to know if the [new owners] want me and what their plans are because if they’ve not got the same ideas and don’t want me, then it’s not my decision.”

County had to win and hope relegation rivals Macclesfield lost to stand any chance of staying up.

The visitors gave themselves hope of a miracle escape when Kane Hemmings’ penalty in the 52nd minute put County 1-0 up to raise the noise levels from the 2,248 travelling supporters.

Due to Macclesfield holding Cambridge Ardley’s men were not in control of their own destiny even at 1-0 up.

Ardley told the club’s official website: “At half-time we rallied the boys, told them they’re on the verge of something special.

“We came out like that and got our noses in front but this team hasn’t been able to keep enough clean sheets over the course of the campaign and, as painful as it is to say, we deserve to go down.

“I haven’t been able to turn it around and haven’t done well enough.

“There are a lot of factors that have made the job really hard but I’ll go and criticise myself and be low for a while I’m sure.

“Nobody feels anything except pain and anguish and the players are all down.

“I’ve told them, individually and collectively wherever they are next season, they need to be better for this pain because they had the chance to do something about it but haven’t.”

Swindon manager Richie Wellens backed County to make an immediate return to the Football League.

Wellens said: “They can bounce back because Neal Ardley is a manager that has been promoted with AFC Wimbledon before.

“I have a lot of time for Neal. The club, let’s be honest, was in a little bit of turmoil with outside influences with a club that have been rock bottom and since January the results have picked up so I hope he stays at Notts County.”

On his own’s teams disappointing season, Wellens added: “It has not been the campaign we would have wanted at the start.

“We need to go away, rebuild and be ready to go again next year and hopefully launch a promotion challenge.”