Receiving advice from County captain Andrew Crofts in training has allowed Tyreeq Bakinson to implement different styles into his game, according to the Exiles midfielder himself.
Having impressed on his competitive debut in midweek, Bakinson was again named from the off n midfield alongside Josh Sheehan and Matty Dolan against early pace setters Exeter City.
The Grecians were the side to take the lead at St James Park, as Jayden Stockley ghosted into the box to meet a Jake Taylor delivery and head home the opener.
But County refused to give in to a side that had a perfect record to start off the season, and after Joe Day’s heroics kept Stockley and Dean Moxey at bay, the Exiles grabbed a point with seven minutes remaining.
Mark Harris came off the bench to score his first goal in professional football, getting the better of a tackle with Troy Brown before rifling past Christy Pym to ensure both teams had a share of the spoils.
Post-match, Bakinson spoke exclusively to iFollow Exiles and highlighted Crofts’ advice as the reason why he has been so effective for County in his first two appearances since joining on loan from Bristol City.
On grinding out a point against promotion contenders Exeter City…
"I thought it was a very good game. I thought we maybe started the game a bit slow, but we grew into it as it went on and I think it was a good overall point.
"Exeter are a very good team and they are very effective at the style of football that they try to play. We had to deal with that, we’ll work on the goal conceded and go onto the next game.
"I thought Jayden Stockley was a handful today. But our defence coped with that threat quite well. It was difficult at times against their midfield, but we were still able to get on the ball and play it because we did have the extra man in midfield.
"There’s a confidence in the training ground. We’re doing well in that environment and in matches as-well, we’ve got a good team and we go into every game thinking we can win.
"There’s a good mindset here within this team. And that’s why it’s good going out onto the field because you know you are alongside players who will fight for you.
"Everyone is training well so you have to be on top of your game all the time, the fight for positions is always tough so you always need to stay on it.We’ve got a good squad here and we feel like we are doing well. I think it’s a good point."
On his first Football League start for Newport County AFC…
"I thought that I personally started off a bit slowly. But obviously as the game went on, I was able to get into the pace of it and help the team in how we wanted to play.
"I don’t want to say too much about myself because it was a good team performance, but I thought I played well. It was good that Matty Dolan and Josh Sheehan were alongside me again like Tuesday – it allows us to get partnerships going in midfield.
"Matty Dolan is a very experienced player at this level so he’s been helping me out a lot. I think he’s a very good player, so it makes my job easier when you know you’ve got someone good playing alongside you.
"I just want to do the fans and the manager proud whenever I play for the club, repaying the confidence he has in starting me."
On the advice he has been getting from his captain since his arrival on loan from Bristol City…
"Us young players, we do love him [Andrew Crofts.] He’s got so much experience and he’s so vocal, not just in matches but in training as-well.
"It doesn’t necessarily have to be whilst you’re on the pitch, he sometimes pulls you to one side after training and tells you that you did this right, did that wrong.
"It’s good for us because we want to learn, keep on improving and get to where he’s been in his career.
"The key piece of advice he’s given me so far is about that vocalness in midfield. He’s made me realise how important it is to speak to your other teammates because it makes their job easier as-well.
"It just helps the team stay together, age doesn’t really matter in terms of being a leader, no matter what your age you have to be vocal and help your teammates out."
On the three upcoming games at Rodney Parade…
"Notts County will be another tough test. But I feel like the recent performances will mean that we’ll be up for that challenge.
"They’ll be firing when they come to Rodney Parade because no team ever crumbles after a loss. They will want to come out and prove that they are still a good team and a title contender, so we need to be ready for that.
"It’s crucial if we want to do well this season that we make Rodney Parade a fortress. Getting points at home is massive - and with the fans behind us, then I’m sure we’ll be fine. We always look to go and win any game that we play. We just take each game as it comes and hopefully we play well come the day of the game.
"Grimsby have picked up some good results recently, they are doing well. Really there is no awful team in this league anyway, so we just need to make sure that we don’t get complacent and play well in every game.
"To be honest, I just felt normal when the draw came out [in the Carabao Cup.] I didn’t really have a lot of thought about it because I knew whatever it was, home or away, we’d have to play well to win.
"We were of course disappointed that it wasn’t a Premier League side, but we just get on with it. That’s just how the draw goes. It would be great to get a good cup run this season, hopefully we can keep it going in that game against Oxford United. I don’t like looking at stats too much so let’s just get down to the football."
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