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POST-MATCH | Mike Flynn reflects on the stunning 1-0 victory at Coventry City

20 August 2017

Mike Flynn says it was “pleasing” to see his side grab a 1-0 victory away at Coventry City.

Debutant Reece Cole made a dream start to his Exiles career, scoring the solitary goal, his 53rd minute strike managing to beat home goalkeeper Liam O’Brien from around 25 yards.

The Exiles defence held firm to intense pressure from Coventry in the closing stages, as they secured their first league success of the season.

The victory capped off the end to a perfect week for Flynn, who announced the birth of his new son, Samuel, on Thursday.

And Flynn thanked the players for making it an extra-special day for him and his family.

“It was very pleasing,” he said.

He added: “I’ve had a busy week if I’m honest so that was a very sweet win, coming here, keeping a clean-sheet and putting in a performance like we did against a very good Coventry side is music to my ears.

“It’s been a lovely week – that win was for my wife and my new little boy Samuel so I’d like to thank the players for putting in the performance that they did and putting that smile on my face.”

Before the game, Coventry were the league leaders, and only side with a 100% record in League 2.

But Flynn doesn’t want to read too much into those statistics at this early stage of the season, preferring to reflect on a deserved County victory.

Flynn continued: “They got frustrated because arguably one of their better players, Jodi Jones, didn’t have a kick all game.

“Ben White was absolutely superb against him and the players defended solidly as a unit throughout the whole team.

“The forwards, midfielders, defenders and goalkeeper gave everything today and that’s what we need. It’s something I’m working on every day in training, and it looks like it’s paying off.

He added: “We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves, it’s a beautiful stadium, beautiful pitch and they’ve got a good manager.

“They’ve got some great players but so have we. It’s going well, I won’t get carried away but I’m positive about the start we’ve had.”

But the points could have been stolen off the Exiles, had Joe Day not pulled off two miraculous saves during the game.

In first half stoppage time, Stuart Beavon looked like he had the goal at his mercy, only for Day to make a miraculous save, before making an even better stop to deny substitute Tony Andreu late in the second-half.

And Flynn heaped praise on his goalkeeper post-match.

“That’s what he’s there for,” he said.

“He’s the last line of defence and he had an outstanding performance.

“The boys were really good away from home, fourth game away in a row and the boys have handled it well and took it in their stride. The performance made me very happy today.”

The match-winning goal may have had an element of fortune behind it, but Flynn doesn’t buy into that philosophy, electing to praise Cole for taking the shot on.

“No luck,” he continued.

“If you don’t buy a ticket for the lottery then you won’t win it so if you don’t shoot then you don’t score, it’s as simple as that so I’ll never say it’s luck.

“If Coventry want to say it’s luck and the keeper made a mistake then that’s up to them but I’m happy.”

Along with match-winner Cole, Joe Quigley also came in for his Exiles debut.  

Quigley, who joined on loan from AFC Bournemouth on Thursday, had only spent 48 hours with his new team-mates before starting from the off at the Ricoh Arena.

And Flynn was encouraged by both debutants.

He said: “Reece has gone and scored a goal on his debut so fair play to him, he’s managed to have the shot and thankfully it went in.

He added: “Joe is exactly what we’re looking for. He makes it hard for defenders, holds up the ball well and allows us to play.

“He tired in the end but he’s going to because he hasn’t played too much football recently.

“I’m over the moon for him, he’s come in and had a good debut and we’ve won so I’m excited.

“He trained yesterday and also Thursday so it’s encouraging going forward.”

908 County supporters were at the Ricoh to witness the victory, with Flynn again praising a terrific away support.

He said: “The fans were amazing – nearly a 1,000 people travelling on a fourth away game is superb. They were the loudest in the stadium and long may it continue.”

The Exiles have a quick turn-around before their next game, where they face Championship club Leeds United at Elland Road in the Carabao Cup second round on Tuesday.

And Flynn confirmed he may make changes to his side for another tough test.

He added: “I possibly might make changes but we’ll have a look on Monday.

“The boys will have Sunday off and then we’ll get them back to the training ground and assess them all.

“I’ve told the boys that the shirt is theirs to keep or to lose because we’ve got competition in every position. If they don’t perform then somebody is waiting to take that shirt and they’ve got to be ready when called upon.

“It’s what I want. I want that competitive edge, it’s healthy for this club.”

At the Ricoh, there was no place in the squad or substitutions for midfielders Sean Rigg and Tom Owen-Evans.

Flynn confirmed both suffered injuries towards the end of the week, but is hopeful of both recovering in time for Tuesday.

“Both had injuries,” he said.

“Sean wasn’t too well and Tom went over on his ankle on Thursday so that was why.

“It was really good to see Ben Tozer back on the bench; it can only be a positive. Like I’ve said before, the squad is coming together nicely and we’re happy.”

Flynn continued: “I’ve got a good group here. We won’t get carried away when we win and we won’t get too low when we lose. That’s the spirit we’ve got and we will keep on improving ready for a tough test at Leeds on Tuesday.”

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