When Manchester Metropolis goalscoring sensation Erling Haaland drilled a low shot into the underside nook towards Wolves, Macaulay Langstaff knew what he needed to do.
“A little bit of me was considering, ‘oh Haaland has scored once more, so I might higher rating at this time’,” Notts County’s 25-year-old striker mentioned.
On the time Langstaff was on the Magpies staff bus because it snaked its approach round London en-route to Dorking.
On the best way to final Saturday’s sport, he and his Notts team-mates had been watching Premier League champions Manchester Metropolis brush apart Wolves within the early kick-off.
Haaland’s objective, his eleventh within the league, had raised the expectations on Langstaff’s personal objective glut – the one participant in England’s skilled leagues who had managed to maintain up with the Norwegian within the scoring charts.
Notts had highlighted that statistic on social media a day earlier than their Nationwide League assembly with Dorking Wanderers, and the response was instantaneous – the moniker because the ‘non-league Haaland’ was rapidly pounced on by Langstaff’s team-mates.
“I do know it is only a little bit of enjoyable, nevertheless it was a pleasure to see my identify on the goalscoring charts for the highest 5 leagues and see him high and me degree with him with 10 earlier than Saturday,” Langstaff informed BBC Sport.
“Seeing that could be a bit loopy. I take a whole lot of confidence from that, you recognize. Simply to be talked about in the identical sentence as a reputation like that’s good.”
‘I like scoring objectives’
Whereas Langstaff was unable so as to add to his personal tally on Saturday, in a 3-1 defeat that ended Notts’ unbeaten begin to the season, he’s decided “to try to sustain” with Haaland.
“As a striker you are taking small issues like that as motivation,” mentioned Langstaff, whose six objectives in 5 video games in August earned him the Nationwide League participant of the month award.
“I like scoring objectives and wish to beat my file from final season.”
It was final time period’s 32-goal haul for Gateshead in Nationwide League North that made the Teessider – who was taking part in for £40 look charges seven years in the past within the tenth tier – one of the crucial wanted gamers in non-league.
Notts head coach Luke Williams was appointed simply as Notts had been about log out on offers for Langstaff and Cedwyn Scott, his 26-goal strike associate at Gateshead.
The Magpies boss mentioned it was a “easy” determination to throw his assist behind the double signing, after watching highlights, going over the stats and assembly the pair.
After overcoming Covid at the beginning of the season, former Dundee ahead Scott has now scored 4 objectives in his previous 5 video games and says he’ll preserve “chipping away” to catch as much as and “drive on” Langstaff.
“We each fancy ourselves to attain objectives,” Scott mentioned.
Requested about Langstaff’s begin to the season, Scott mentioned: “He is known as himself the non-league Haaland. However we’re not going to let that go to his head.”
‘The gaffer loves Haaland’
Whereas Langstaff laughed in reply, saying “there isn’t any approach I mentioned that”, he freely admits that he has achieved all he can to undertake parts of the Norwegian’s sport.
“I watch movies of him and regardless that we’re a little bit totally different by way of the best way we play, a whole lot of what we do is identical,” Langstaff mentioned.
“I’m going house and attempt to recreate what he does on the pitch. I take a whole lot of issues he does, little suggestions, his motion within the field is unbelievable. He scores a whole lot of tap-ins and I watch to attempt take as a lot of his sport into my sport as I can.”
Langstaff says it helps that “the gaffer loves” Haaland.
“He exhibits us movies of him on a regular basis, how good he’s and the way efficient he’s,” he added.
Williams is eager to see Langstaff keep away from having the strain placed on him “to emulate essentially the most potent quantity 9 on this planet for the time being”, however appreciates the comparisons being made.
“We all know that the degrees are far aside, however the angle and the concepts of the 2 guys are very comparable,” Williams mentioned.
One particular factor they’ve in frequent is 2 strikers who’ve landed in new a league and delivered objectives galore for his or her new golf equipment.
Langstaff, who was on the books at Middlesbrough as a junior, admits he by no means envisioned reaching such a degree when he went into “early retirement” whereas taking part in for Billingham Synthonia within the tenth tier of the sport as a young person.
“I liked it,” he mentioned. “I used to be getting paid to play soccer each week, regardless of how a lot.
“After my first season with Billingham Synthonia I did not return for pre-season as a result of I did not actually wish to play anymore. I believed I might do different issues, I used to be in school.
“However once I noticed my mates going to play I missed it a little bit so I believed I might return. I can not put my finger on the precise motive, however I scored a whole lot of objectives after that and from early retirement I ended up signing my first skilled cope with Gateshead [in February 2017].”
A mortgage spell with Blyth Spartans, then a switch to York Metropolis adopted earlier than a second spell with Gateshead resulted in a transfer to Meadow Lane and a Notts facet attempting to return to the English Soccer League after a four-year absence.
“I am extra pushed now than ever,” Langstaff added.
“I am hungrier and hungrier each day due to the journey I have been on.”