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POST-MATCH | Mike Flynn reflects on stunning Rodney Parade homecoming win against Chesterfield

27 August 2017

Mike Flynn was full of praise for his whole team after securing a 4-1 victory against Chesterfield in the Rodney Parade homecoming.

However, in spite of the score-line, it was the Spireites who actually held a half-time lead, veteran striker Chris O’Grady stabbing home from a Scott Wiseman cross.

But a stunning 13 minute second-half hat-trick from Frank Nouble turned the game in County’s favour, before debutant Padraig Amond completed the scoring late on.

And Flynn was delighted with his sides fightback.

“I would have taken 4-1 all day,” he said.

“Chesterfield were a very good team, they cut us open at times and caused us a lot of problems. We went and matched them up and took the game to them and that’s when the players showed how outstanding they were.”

However, an injury to Chesterfield’s Bradley Barry did tarnish the Exiles victory.

Barry collided with County skipper Joss Labadie on the half-way line and had to be stretchered from the pitch.

And Flynn admitted that the injury did take the gloss off the victory.

He added: “I’ve got to be honest and say that their injury has probably taken a little of the shine off it because I don’t like anybody getting injured.

“It looks like he may have broken his leg, I don’t like seeing that so I’d like to wish him a speedy recovery.”

It was later revealed by Chesterfield FC that Barry's injury wasn't as bad as initially feared and the player has not broken his leg.  It is just badley bruised.

Nouble’s hat-trick all started with a 30-yard thunderbolt that flew straight into the top corner on 55 minutes.

Then, Nouble secured the hat-trick with two headers, on 66 and 68 minutes, both assisted by County substitute Dan Butler.

And Flynn was pleased with the front-man’s contributions.

“He showed today what he is, that at times he is unplayable,” he commented.  

“He’s scored a hat-trick but could have had another hat-trick.

“The difference between his first-half and second half performance was huge and he’s got to realise that he is that big a player for us.”

Nouble also grabbed an assist in the game, holding the ball up perfectly for Amond to fire home for a debut goal.

And Flynn was excited by the former Hartlepool United man’s debut, as-well as paying homage to the rest of the squad.

He said: “I thought Joss Labadie was outstanding, Sean Rigg come on and did really well, Ben White was quality again, I could easily go through the whole team and substitutions if I’m honest.

“They all had a good game, great to see Podge (Padraig Amond) get his first goal so I’m really happy.”

The victory sees the Exiles rise to second in the table, even at this early stage of the season.

But Flynn won’t be getting carried away with the positive start, insisting it is a long season and the team must replicate their performances throughout the campaign.

He said: “Even if we were in the bottom two, I wouldn’t be too concerned at the moment so I’m definitely not going to be getting carried away at being in the top two.

“It’s a course of a season, but we are going in the right direction. There’s things we need to improve upon, there’s a lot of good things going for us so it’s important that we keep going.”

Flynn made three changes to his side that lost to Leeds United on Tuesday in the Carabao Cup.

And Flynn says it is important to utilise all the players in the squad.

“They’re all fighting for places now,” he added.

“Riggy was left out today but came on and showed what it’s about. Dan Butler also came on and showed that he’s up for the battle and that’s what I need.

“I need a strong squad and need everybody fighting in the right direction together because what I saw at the end of the game was unbelievable – Padraig has put Robbie Willmott through on goal and instantly went and covered Robbie’s right-back position. That for me is the signs of a good team, it shows that you’re switched on even with one minute to go and 4-1 up.

“There’s some good things, I won’t get carried away but I’m very pleased with this afternoon.”

Despite all the positives from the victory, Flynn did say he was disappointed with the manner in which Chesterfield took the lead.

He continued: “I’ve watched the goal already and it wasn’t just Frank’s fault. There was a catalogue of errors – they had one player in the box and we had 4 or 5 and he still nipped in.

“Listen, it’s things to work on. I’m really happy with how we turned things around and rose to the challenge which was very good at times from Chesterfield.”

Another concern for the Exiles was the injury sustained by Mark O’Brien.

However, Flynn confirmed post-match that it was a precautionary measure to substitute the Irishman.

“Mark O’Brien had a stiff hamstring, not really sure on that if I’m honest,” he added.

“We didn’t want him out for six weeks so that’s why we took him off. Fortunately, he’s the only one I’m concerned about.

“Pipey had an elbow in the eye and was struggling to see so again it was a precautionary measure.”

The Exiles don’t have long to relish the victory, as they make the relatively short trip across the bridge to take on Forest Green Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy.

And attentions have already turned towards the game.

Flynn added: “I want the fans to go home happy as much as possible. I’ll go home happy as-well but we have to start thinking of Tuesday.

“We have Forest Green in the Checkatrade trophy and we go again.”

The game in Nailsworth will represent another chance for Flynn to tinker with his squad, if necessary.

And Flynn confirmed changes will be made to yesterday’s starting team.

“There will be changes and I will freshen the squad up,” he confirmed.

“I’ll give a couple of fringe players a chance to prove themselves and get some game time in them.

“I’m looking around and I’m thinking that I’ve got a really good squad here, but again I won’t get carried away. They have to do it over the course of a football season, not a calendar season shall we say.”

NEXT UP: Forest Green Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy. (Tickets are pay on the day)

NEXT UP AT HOME: Wycombe Wanderers, 9th Septembers. Click here for Tickets.

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