Exiles caretaker manager Michael Flynn says the effort and determination of his players has been superb, as he prepares to take his team to Exeter City, writes Ryan Robinson.
The team travel to St James Park for the start of what Flynn describes as “six cup finals” and feels the players have helped him settle during his interim spell.
“It would have been easy for us to go out with a whimper but the boys have been superb,” he said.
“Honestly, the way they’ve responded to me every day in training, you only have to look at the effort during the games. Okay, we may fall short at times but they’re effort has been fantastic and that has really helped me in my first taste of management.”
Flynn saw his side beat Crawley Town at Rodney Parade last time out, and he wants to see the players use that momentum as a springboard for another positive result this weekend.
“We played really good football on Saturday and should have been three or four up at half-time,” he added.
“We’ve just got to be more clinical and we have to kill teams off; especially Exeter because we know they fight until the end and they showed that when they came back against Yeovil and Mansfield recently so that shows their fighting capabilities.
“We have to match that belief because we also have to show that we are up for the fight.”
Both Cheltenham and Hartlepool also face away ties this weekend, facing Wycombe Wanderers and Morecambe respectively.
However, Flynn insists the players will know nothing of those results until the full-time whistle at Exeter.
“No [we don’t look at other results at half-time,] because if we don’t win the game then it doesn’t matter what the other teams do,” he said.
“We can’t affect those results so we just have to concentrate on our own performance. If then after the game we find out that one or both of them has lost then great; if they’ve won then okay, it’s another game knocked off but we have to be ready to go again the week after.”
Flynn has also encouraged as many fans as possible to make the relatively short trip across the water and make an atmosphere like in previous seasons.
He said: “We’re going there positive, we had a good day’s work today and I know as usual we will have a great following.
“I remember a couple of years ago when we won down there that it was an unbelievable atmosphere and it’s important we do that again.”
Some early team-news for County sees Joss Labadie begin his three match-suspension.
Apart from that, only Marlon Jackson is expected to miss the trip, adding to long-term absentees Lenell John Lewis, Jamie Turley and Ben Tozer.
But Flynn remains optimistic that Exiles supporters will see Jackson before the end of the season.
On Jackson: “It looks like he’s going to be out for a couple of weeks. It’s frustrating because he was just getting to a level where we thought he could be really effective.
“He’s really been putting the effort in for a long time now in training so I’m gutted for him. Hopefully, we will see him back before the end of the season.”