Newport County AFC have a lot to thank Joe Day for after the Exiles shot stopper pulled off a string of fantastic saves to keep County in the Emirates FA Cup, according to striker Padraig Amond.
In the first-half, some smart play from influential attacker Paul Rutherford gave Bobby Grant a clear sighting at goal but Day got a strong palm to it, and in the second-half his double save denied Brad Walker then prevented an own-goal when scooping the ball back off the goal line.
County also created their chances at The Racecourse, Antoine Semenyo and Tyreeq Bakinson both sending headers over the crossbar, but the two sides couldn’t be separated, and they will play again at Rodney Parade in the replay.
Here, you can read what Amond exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the game.
On requiring a replay after a draw with Wrexham AFC in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup…
"It was a tough game for us. The atmosphere was really good but the game probably lacked a bit of quality if I’m being honest with you. I don’t think any team really outdid the other, I know they kept the ball and a few little things, but they never cut us open.
"We both caused each other some problems without too much quality but look, that’s the type of game we probably would have lost a couple of weeks ago.
"We’ll take a lot of credit in that – the defenders especially and Joe Day was excellent. We’re still in the FA Cup because of them – the midfielders and attackers have got a lot of praise recently, but they deserve it from this game.
"You play as a team and when some players play below par, others are there to dig them out and get them over the line. That’s where we are as a team, spirit will get us so far and then quality needs to come in at the end.
"Hopefully in the replay, that quality will show."
On Monday night’s draw for the Third Round of the competition…
"We’re still in the cup so you can look at it and say it could have been really bad if we’d have lost. We’ve defended for our lives at times today, Joe has made a couple of fantastic saves.
"We did have some chances ourselves, but the most important thing is that we’re still in the draw for the Third Round on Monday night. We’ll be able to see what carrot is dangling for us and hopefully we can win the replay.
"I just want to beat Wrexham in the replay, I’m not too bothered about the draw. I would prefer Manchester United away but at the same time, you have to beat what’s in-front of you before you can get there.
"I won’t even be watching the draw Monday night, we’ve got two really important games against Cheltenham and Swindon before the replay of this."
On Joe Day’s heroics at The Racecourse…
"He was excellent. People were raving about the first save he made but I think the better one is where he scooped it off the line in the second-half.
"He works really, really hard on his flexibility and that’s where that save comes from. How he gets there I don’t know, I certainly couldn’t do that – I’m a bit stiff!
"But that’s why we have the best goalkeeper in the league. I’ve said it before, he’s in a very, very tough position because if a goalkeeper makes a mistake then it’s highlighted so much more.
"I could make 10 mistakes in a game but if I score one goal then I’m a hero. If Joe makes one mistake, he’s a villain and it’s all his fault.
"He’s an excellent goalkeeper and he deserves all the plaudits he gets."
On facing Cheltenham Town in the CheckaTrade Trophy knockout stages on Tuesday night…
"We want to win the competition. It’s a great chance for us to get to Wembley and win a trophy at Wembley.
"How many chances do you get to win a trophy at Wembley? Obviously we played there last season against Spurs but to win the trophy, we’d have had to have won four or fives games. And the chances of us winning the FA Cup are quite slim.
"Whatever team the manager decides to pick against Cheltenham will try to win the game. He’ll have a couple of decisions to make regarding whether he wants to freshen things up, give people rests, but we know the team he puts out onto the pitch will go out to win the game.
"We’ll always go out to try and win every game, sometimes it doesn’t always work out like that, but again we owe Cheltenham one for last weekend. We weren’t happy with our first-half performance against them last time but it’s no redemption job or anything like that.
"It’s the same as if we’re playing Wrexham, Forest Green or whoever else really, we want to win the game to progress in the competition.
"Just because Cheltenham beat us last weekend, it doesn’t mean you want to beat them more than anyone else because you should always want to win every game the same.
"There are a lot of games coming up but I’m the type of player that likes to play as many as I can because it keeps momentum going. If the manager decides I need a rest then I’ll be 100% behind him, but if he decides he wants to pick me then I’m 100% behind him in that.
"It’s makes no difference to me – I’ll give everything I can for this club. Sometimes like tonight, the quality might not be as good but what you will get is 100% effort. I’ll be behind the manager whatever team he picks against Cheltenham and that goes for every time he picks the team as well."
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