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POST-MATCH | Mike Flynn reflects on draw with Wycombe Wanderers

10 September 2017

Mike Flynn believes there are both positives and negatives to take from the 0-0 draw with Wycombe Wanderers at Rodney Parade.

Exiles goalkeeper Joe Day and his opposite number Scott Brown were both in fine form during the game, pulling off a host of saves to keep the game scoreless.

Day made two finger-tip saves to deny Luke O’Nien in the first-half, before stopping Wycombe strikers Craig Mackail-Smith and Josh Umerah in the second-half, who both had shots from just outside the six-yard area.

County’s best opportunities fell the way of Frank Nouble and Padraig Amond, but away goalkeeper Brown was also equal to the Exiles opportunities, meaning that both sides were involved in their first 0-0 draw of the season.

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And despite not taking any of the chances, Flynn was encouraged by the amount of opportunities created by his side.

“I can take a lot of positives from today,” he said.

“We created chance after chance, in the first half we put 15 crosses into the box and had 10 attempts on goal.”

“We created more chances in the second-half and should have scored. I don’t know how many crosses went in second-half but I can assure you that there was loads so there’s lots of positives from the game.

“The negative is that we didn’t score again and kill them off.

“Again, there was some outstanding defending when we needed it, Joe Day made a couple of excellent saves, David Pipe made a good clearance from a header so that was pleasing as-well.”

He added: “I thought we should have been out of sight in the first-half but during the last half-hour we were lucky to get a point.

“It was too open for my liking, we should have taken our chances when we were on top and thankfully we didn’t get punished like last week at Exeter.

“Wycombe are a solid League 2 team, my players worked their socks off against them and you could really see how tired they were at the end.”

It was the third game in a row that the Exiles had failed to score, with Flynn instead pointing to his player’s mentality as another sign of encouragement.

He continued: “You can’t score every game so when you don’t, you just have to make sure that you don’t get beaten and that’s a positive because I think we would have lost this game at the same point last season.”

Most of the Exiles chances fell the way of summer-addition Amond, who scored on his debut against Chesterfield two weeks ago, and Flynn is convinced it won’t be too long before Exiles supporters see the attacker score on a more consistent basis.  

“He’s going to get goals,” he added.

“I’m not worried about it because he gets into the right spaces, is in the right place at the right time and that finish will come.

“His sharpness is getting better and better with the GPS readings and everything, he’s getting fitter so his best is yet to come and I’m sure he will score a hatful of goals this season.”

The result comes at the end of a sad week for everybody concerned with Newport County AFC, following the news that lifelong Young Exiles supporter Kieran Sanges had lost his battle with cancer aged just 14.

A minute’s applause was held in Kieran’s memory prior to kick-off, before both sets of fans and officials observed another minute’s applause in the 14th minute.

And Flynn was proud of the way his players conducted themselves during this tough time.

He commented: “I’m proud of them because it’s been a tough week with Kieran’s funeral on Friday.

“The players all turned up and showed what the club’s about, six of them carried the coffin so I’m so proud of them.

“Today we’ve drawn, kept a clean-sheet against a tough League 2 team and I was proud of the players with their work-rate and how they represented the club this week.

“All we can do as a football club is try to keep that community and family spirit so like I said, I’m very proud of my players because the effort both on and off the pitch has been unbelievable from each of them.”

The side now turn their attentions to another tough contest on Tuesday, when Cheltenham Town, who moved off the foot of the table with a 0-0 draw at Yeovil Town on Saturday, visit Rodney Parade.

Joss Labadie was forced off through injury on 40 minutes against Wycombe, with Flynn unsure as to his captain’s availability for the game.  

He commented: “Joss has got a strained groin so I’m not sure about that, we’ll have to wait until it settles down before making a decision.”

Mark O’Brien missed the visit of the Chairboys to Rodney Parade, in the only change from the side that lost to Exeter City last week.

And Flynn was again uncertain of the Irishman’s fitness ahead of the visit of the Robins.

He added: “Mark has a bruise on the bottom of his foot and it’s been difficult for him to put any weight onto it.

“Again, that’s another one we’ll have to manage in the right way because he’s obviously a big player for us.”

The only other injury concerns for the Exiles will be over strikers Shawn McCoulsky and Lamar Reynolds.

The pair haven’t featured for the Exiles since starting in the Carabao Cup tie at Leeds United last month.

McCoulsky suffered a hip-flexor injury in training, with Reynolds suffering from a thigh complaint.

Again, Flynn was unsure of their availability for Tuesday.

He said: “I don’t know, it’s too early to say on Shawn and Lamar but we’ll give them every opportunity to be ready.” 

NEXT UP: Cheltenham Town FC - 12th September

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