Mike Flynn has praised County’s never-say-die attitude after the Exiles secured safety in dramatic circumstances, writes Ryan Robinson.
Just like 40 years ago, County survived on the final day. Eddie Woods was the hero back then and this time around Mark O’Brien wrote himself into County scripture with a priceless 89th minute winner.
That came after both sides had traded blows through County’s Mickey Demetriou and Notts County’s Jorge Grant.
And Flynn says the result is the culmination of the squad’s hard-work since he took over.
“We’re Newport County. We might not be the most polished club in the world but one thing we’ll always do is fight,” he said.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic. I’m so happy for these fans, for myself, the players – they’ve been immense – for my family, my kids and my wife Victoria, who has supported me and picked me up when I’m down.
He added: “And the board of directors deserve a massive amount of credit for taking some tough decisions, backing me and putting their faith in me.
“Everything they do is for the good of the club. They get some unfair criticism at times but they’ve been absolutely first class in everything they’ve done.”
Flynn inherited the squad back in March when County were 11 points adrift of safety.
But fast forward two months and County pulled off the ‘Great Escape’ by finishing two clear.
Flynn added: “Everybody thought we were dead and buried. It’s a huge achievement.”
After the game, Flynn also wanted to pay tribute to his coaching staff for helping him achieve the goal.
“It was tense, it was nervy but this is why I’ve got great staff with me – Wayne Hatswell was telling me to go for it, chuck another one up front.
“We threw Mark O’Brien up front and he got the winner.
“It was unbelievable. He scored one like that in training on Friday and we were all running around the pitch laughing. We couldn’t believe it and he’s gone and done it again.
“He’s been absolutely superb for us and I can’t thank him enough.”
He continued: “We were keeping up to date with the Hartlepool game and I feel sorry for them but it was either them or us and I’m so glad that it’s them.
“These players have just gone and written their names in the record books and they deserve everything. Those players have been fantastic for me and I can’t thank them enough. I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve kept the club in the Football League.”
Flynn was part of the playing squad that secured promotion at Wembley back in 2013.
And he says both are momentous occasions for himself and the club.
“It feels just as good as winning promotion because we’ve achieved the same goal almost – we’ve got to the Football League.
“Both were long shots but we got there four years ago and we’ve stayed there now.”
And while Flynn wants the club to enjoy the moment, he insists work has already begun for next season.
He added: “We’ve got to get the recruitment right over the summer, we’ve got to make the right decisions with the players staying or not and we’ve got to build on this. We’ve got to have a good pre-season and get them ready to go come August.
“We don’t want to be in this position again next year. The club has got to build on this now and that’s what we’ll plan to do. The hard work starts now.”
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