September’s League One manager of the month award may have gone unnoticed by many, but it underlined a promising manager who is looking to fulfil his potential once again.
It may be only a quarter of the season gone, but Allen deserves credit for helping to lay the foundations to push the squad on after they stabilised their position in the league following promotion back in 2010.
However, this stability ironically came on the back of constant chopping and changing of managers, with Steve Cotterill, Craig Short and Paul Ince all leaving the club for various reasons before Allen arrived to secure their third-tier status in mid-April.
Allen looked to build on their 19th-placed finish and made wholesale changes, bringing in a combination of free transfers and loan deals to improve the squad.
Young but promising players such as Ishmel Demontagnac, Hamza Bencherif and Julian Kelly were drafted in, while Allen also brought in striker Cristian Montano on loan from former club West Ham.
Now they have a team that have goals in them and are starting to turn Meadow Lane into a fortress, and for Allen his managerial career is starting to move in the right direction following some setbacks over the last few years.
The 46 year-old started off at Barnet before moving on to Brentford, where he built a team that pushed for promotion to the Championship over a two-year period before resigning from Griffin Park after falling out with the board in 2006.
Allen found a team that had the same ambition to move forward, but he had to go backwards to find it, dropping down to League Two to manage the MK Dons.
However, after missing out on promotion in the play-offs, his talents had been spotted by bigger clubs, and Milan Mandaric decided to bring Allen to Leicester City to help try and get the Midlands outfit to the Premier League.
But despite an encouraging start on the pitch, Allen’s relationship with Mandaric off it deteriorated dramatically over transfer policy and he was sacked three months into the job.
Things got worse in his next role in charge of Cheltenham Town. After failing to save the Robins from the drop in League One, Allen was unable to stem the tide and after allegations over a dispute on a night out, he was suspended and eventually sacked.
It looked like Allen’s career as a manager was going to drift into obscurity, but after helping Barnet stay up before moving to County, the man popularly known as ‘Mad Dog’ looks a rejuvenated character capable of discovering the potential not only at his current club, but also of his managerial credentials.
So what do you think? Will Allen carry on rebuilding his managerial career successfully at Notts County? What can County achieve this season? Leave a comment and let us know your views.