Mike Flynn says it’s a privilege to manage Newport County AFC but has set the target of celebrating his 100th competitive match in charge of the club with a victory against Crawley Town.
Since initially taking to the hotseat on a temporary basis on 9th March 2017, Flynn has masterminded ‘The Great Escape,’ a top half finish in League Two and secured glamour Emirates FA Cup ties with Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City.
Flynn currently holds a 42.4% win record as manager of Newport County AFC, winning on 42 occasions from the previous 99, and he wants to improve that record when the Red Devils visit Rodney Parade tomorrow.
“It’s a nice milestone but it’ll only be a nice occasion if we go and win,” he affirmed.
“It’s a great privilege for me to be manager of Newport County AFC and it’s something that I look at and say that I want to get another 100 games.
“You want a bit of success to go with that, but I think we’ve really turned the thoughts and the thinking of the club around and moved it on tenfold to when I took over.
“I just want to be as successful as possible and keep doing the best job I can.”
Flynn achieved numerous things in his playing career as well – helping County secure promotion to the Football League after a 25-year absence in 2013, netting for Barry Town in a Champions League Qualifying victory over European heavyweights Porto, alongside scoring for Bradford City in a Yorkshire derby at a capacity crowd Elland Road against Leeds United.
He also helped Wigan Athletic to the Division Two [now League One] title in 2003, was made captain at Gillingham ahead of the 2006/07 season and played several games as high as the Championship.
Discussing where this achievement ranks, Flynn stated: “When you are a manager, it feels more of a collective effort because you are relying on people to carry out your instructions – the players that is on a matchday.
“When you do win, it feels more of a collective thing rather than maybe as a player when you knew you had to look after yourself and do things right.
“Don’t get me wrong, when the team won it was brilliant, but you could still affect that on the Saturday and you sometimes can’t as a manager.
“When the players do carry out the instructions and everything goes to plan it’s a great feeling.”
Standing in his way of a milestone victory will be a Crawley Town side who are somewhat out of form of late. The Red Devils have only accrued four points from their last nine League Two fixtures and have conceded in large quantities during that run.
Flynn continued: “I think Crawley have lost the last four but, on their day, they are a really good team which is what we saw down there earlier in the season.
“They’ve got some really good players and form doesn’t really mean anything. You’ve still got to go out there and earn the points and do the business.
“I’m not taking anything for granted, it’s tough, we’re out of form and they’re out of form so it’ll probably be 0-0 or 9-8.”
Some early team-news ahead of the contest at Rodney Parade sees Flynn able to provide an update on the injury sustained by Joss Labadie on Boxing Day.
He confirmed: “Joss will have a scan today, but I won’t know until tomorrow now on the results. It’s an element of both – caution and concern.
“You’re always going to be concerned when someone has been out for so long with that injury and it’s the same knee.
“But looking at the way he tracked back and pushed off it just before he went off – if he had done it again, I think it would have given way.
“I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to jinx anything but I’m hoping it’s good news.”
The Exiles head into the game looking to bounce back after defeat on Boxing Day to Forest Green Rovers which extended the gap on the play-off places to four points.
Flynn added: “I’ve gone through it [the Forest Green game] and you just can’t start games the way we did. For all the huffing and puffing we did, they killed us off, especially after the red card.
“Having 10 men against one of the better footballing sides in the league became more like a training match. There’s no excuses from Wednesday, we let ourselves down and that’s that.
“I’m angry that we’re not playing to the best of our abilities. You get frustrated and angry, but you just have to regroup, and make sure we get back on track.
“We’re still in a decent position – the performance up at Lincoln was good but again the start killed us.
“We’ve got to keep the confidence as high as we can and concentrate on Crawley. We’ve got to regroup, stick together and I’m sure we’ll get back on track.”
Speaking on the importance of getting back to winning ways, Flynn said: “Back to back wins takes you right back up and closes any gaps in the table. That’s what we’ve got to look to do, get back to back wins and I’m sure it’ll happen soon.
“I don’t take anything for granted as you know but it’ll happen soon. At the beginning of the season when we were high-flying, I did say we’d have a bad patch.
“Everyone has a bad patch, it happens, and it’s a long season.”