Time remains on Newport County’s AFC side in their quest to achieve a play-off or automatic promotion place by the end of the season, according to Exiles defender Dan Butler.
County concluded 2018 with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Crawley Town at Rodney Parade in a game where chances were few and far between for both sides.
The draw saw the Exiles rise a place in the League Two table and up to tenth, whilst the gap on the play-off stayed at just four points but County have a game in hand after the MK Dons postponement.
Here, you can read what Butler exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of a match which brought up Mike Flynn’s 100th game as Newport County AFC manager…
On the draw with Crawley Town in the final game of 2018…
“We’re very disappointed because I thought we did more than enough to win the game. We were dominant in both boxes, never really looked like conceding, and created a lot of chances especially in the second half.
“We should have killed the game off so we are disappointed, but we need to use this now to go into New Year’s Day with a lot of confidence.
“We wanted to make sure that we were solid defensively, build ourselves into the game and then express ourselves. I think we did that, made sure we were solid in the opening 20 minutes and then as the game went on, everyone could see we created more chances and it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t take one.
“We usually do take our opportunities and we’ll make sure we put that right on New Year’s Day.”
On having his red card rescinded to be able to feature in a defence that kept a comfortable clean sheet…
“I only knew about half an hour before it came out on Twitter that I was able to play. Thankfully they realised it was the wrong decision and I was so happy to be back on that pitch.
“My main focus is helping this team achieve in the league, so I was happy to be out there.
“We knew that Crawley would come here and be happy with a point and I think that showed. Although they put a lot of balls into the channels, I thought we dealt with any pressure really well.
“They didn’t really test Joe Day, he made three saves, but they were all straight at him. That shows we were solid defensively and we have to take that into the coming games.”
On Mike Flynn reaching a century of matches as Newport County AFC manager…
“We’re all here because of the gaffer – we all want to play for him and the club.
“He’s given us all opportunities to play in this team and this league and we appreciate that.
“Of course, we want to win every single game for him regardless of whether its his 100th, 200th, 1st. We want to win every game for ourselves, him and the fans.
“The change has been massive since he came in. When he took over, we were rock bottom of the league but then survived on the last day in ‘The Great Escape’ which I still think was a miracle.
“Then, we’ve progressed on and on and I think that shows now that we’re so disappointed that we are where we are in League Two.
“We’re going to keep working hard as a team and as a club then hopefully the results will come.”
On trying to start 2019 in perfect fashion with victory over Stevenage…
“100% we have to go to Stevenage and win – and we’ll go there with a lot of confidence after this performance. Although it finished 0-0, we could and should have won the game comfortably.
“We’ve got some positives and we’ll take them into the game. If we replicate the performance, I think we can get the three points.
“It would be massive to start 2019 with a victory. Momentum is massive in football and if you can get one or two wins together then you can end up with five or six before you know it.
“It’s massive and we’ll do whatever it takes to get the three points.”
On keeping the play-off quest going into 2019…
“It’s not panic stations. The results recently should have been better, but we’ve still got time to put it right. We’ve still got a massive chance to make something of this season and I’m sure we’re going to do it.
“We know we are a good team, there have been occasions this season where we let ourselves down, but we’ve always bounced back.
“As long as the fans keep on supporting us like they have done then the results will come.”