The way that Newport County AFC responded to the midweek defeat to Mansfield Town against Notts County could be used as a platform to mount a push for the play-off positions, according to Exiles striker Shawn McCoulsky.
County remained in 12th position of the League 2 table with the draw at Rodney Parade, although did gain a point on the top-seven heading into the final 13 fixtures of the season.
During the contest with the Magpies in South Wales, chances came somewhat at a premium for McCoulsky and his strike-partner for the day Padraig Amond.
The Irishman twice fired over the crossbar from difficult angles in the first-half, although were limited to very few other chances in the game following a battling performance from the away side.
But the Exiles kept a first clean sheet since 23rd December with a resilient defensive display of their own at Rodney Parade.
Joe Day did have to pull off one fantastic save to deny Lewis Alessandra with 20 minutes to go in order to preserve a point, as both sides took a share of the spoils from an even contest.
Post-match, McCoulsky spoke exclusively to iFollow Exiles about the tough game against Notts County, his thoughts on a potential push for the play-offs and how they can start thinking about the top-seven by securing a positive result against Port Vale on the weekend.
On the battling draw with Notts County…
“Not too many chances for us today because it wasn’t a game that was going to be full of chances to be honest.
“It was a game to just react from Tuesday night, obviously we lost 5-0, so it was a good reaction from the boys and let’s just keep doing what we are doing now.
“We have gone seven games without a win now but if we keep working hard and pushing, that win is going to come very soon I’m sure.”
On making his first start for the Exiles since Boxing Day…
“Obviously I’m very pleased to be back [in the team.]
“Podge and Frank have done well all season, so as the Gaffer says there is that competition for places which is good for the team.
“And obviously, when I get my chance then I have to take it.
“Hopefully I’ve done that today and if I get the chance again next week then hopefully I can take it again.”
On his own performance during the game at Rodney Parade…
“I would say that I worked hard, gave the Notts County defence a lot of problems and gave them something to do throughout the game.
“The ball didn’t drop to my feet as much as I wanted it to in the box and it wasn’t a game really full of chances, but we got the hard work out of the game and pressed them.
“We did have them on the back foot a lot of the time and that’s all that matters really.”
On closing the gap on the play-off positions to just six points…
“Yeah definitely [we can still reach the play-offs], anything can happen really until the end of the season.
“Obviously eight of the games left are at home so that will give us a good boost to fight for promotion.
“Who knows what can happen?”
On the club having five strikers at their disposal…
“I think everyone brings different sides of the game to the team.
“And obviously it’s good to have Marlon [Jackson] back, he’s been training really well since he’s come back, and he deserves his chance.
“Having five strikers is obviously good for the gaffer and it’s about us all fighting for our place now.”
On the superb number of supporters coming out to watch the County matches over the previous few weeks…
“The fans are always helpful to us.
“When they come out in their 2000s or 3000s at home; and even away they are always cheering us on.
“It’s always good to have the fans behind us and obviously it gives us that extra boost.”
On the trip to Port Vale next Saturday…
“We’ve had a big run of games these last two months, so it will be good to rest up. Hopefully we kick on now at Port Vale.
“I don’t actually think I played against Port Vale last time, so I can’t really tell you too much about how they play.
“But they are a very good team, came down from League 1 last year, and we just have to take it to them just like we took it to Notts County today.
“Hopefully we get the win or maybe a draw there.”