Newport County AFC deserve to be in the automatic promotion places of the League Two table, according to defender Mickey Demetriou.
After two superb results in the respective cup competitions over the past seven days, County used that momentum to propel themselves to a 2-0 victory at Rodney Parade over high-flying Colchester United, who were originally occupying third place in the league table.
The first-half came and went without too much action, but County took command in the second-half to make sure it was a third victory in succession with a clean sheet.
Matty Dolan’s corner-kick was expertly guided into Jamille Matt’s path by a Padraig Amond flick-on after 54 minutes, whilst it was two on 67 minutes as Cameron Pring netted his first professional goal with a neat finish inside the area.
Colchester hit the crossbar late on but that was all they could really muster amidst a solid defensive display from the Exiles and here, you can read what Demetriou exclusively told iFollow Exiles upon the conclusion of the game.
On the victory over Colchester United that sent County back into the automatic promotion places in League Two…
"This result is a massive statement. We had a good game, they played well in spells also, but the most important thing is that we scored more goals and took more chances.
"It could have been 3-0 right at the end and I think the best thing, as a defender, is that we limited them with the chances they created.
"I don’t think Joe Day had many saves to make and if he did, they were comfortable. It’s nice to get another clean sheet under our belt and it’s a big statement.
"We’ve gone above Colchester with this result and up to third which is really good for us and the changing room. We deserve it on our second half performance at least, Colchester had those little spells in the game, but we managed them as an 11 and defended from the front.
"We had Podge clearing balls off the line in the 88th minute so that proves we work as a team, work hard and hopefully after a nice week off, we can go again and get another good result at Cheltenham Town."
On a first clean sheet in League Two since September 22nd…
"It’s disappointing when we concede goals, of course it is, and everyone looks at themselves and knows they can do better at times.
"It’s been three solid games as a defence, I missed Tuesday night, but they defended solidly then as well and deserved the clean sheet there and I think we deserved it again today.
"The FA Cup game was the other clean sheet which was massive for us because it helped get us through to the next round.
"Thankfully for us as defenders, we know that if we keep a clean sheet then we are likely to win the game because we’ve got so many players who can get goals for us. And two different people scored today."
On the goals scored by the Exiles at Rodney Parade…
"It was a massive step forward anyway because whoever scored the first goal, I think the other team would have gone under a little bit. Thankfully for us that happened [in our favour.]
"The gaffer told us at half-time that the first goal was going to be massive and if we scored first then we’d win the game. If we conceded first, we’d probably have gone and lost it.
"We’re thankful that we did get that first goal, Jamma was in the right place at the right time, great ball by Matty and flick-on from Podge.
"The first goal was definitely one of them [a corner-kick tactic.] We nearly had another that worked earlier on but thankfully Pipey was in the right place to stop them breaking.
"We work really hard on our set-pieces, we’ve got more up our sleeves and we have to mix them up in games because teams can learn our plans. We change them week in week out and thankfully one worked.
"Cameron deserves his goal. He’s a young lad who’s come in to the squad and done really well. He’s been unfortunate with the injuries he’s had so he really deserves it, and he’s basically won us the game because it gave us that little cushion."
On Padraig Amond’s performance at Rodney Parade…
"I don’t think I’ve ever played with a striker like Podge [that will be clearing shots off the goal line after 88 minutes.]
"And even five minutes after that, he made a run back again to stop their forward coming at us into the box when he beat the back line.
"Look, that’s what we’re about as a team. We work hard for each other, defend from the front and we’re a tight-knit group. No one is taking that away from us.
"Podge played very well. It showed again what he’s about, works hard for the team, always gives his all game in game out and in training day in day out. He’s a workhorse for us and a massive player. He didn’t get on the scoresheet today, but he’s made one instead.
"We were all man of the matches out there today. All 11 of us, Cameron when he came on, Sparky almost got himself a goal after his introduction as well.
"I’ll take that award [sponsors man of the match] for the team today and we’ll enjoy it during the week and use it as momentum for next weekend."
On heading to Cheltenham Town on Saturday…
"That’s a massive result for them [beating Notts County 3-0] and they’re going to be on a high now like we are.
"We’ve just got to work hard during the week in training and we’ll go again with the same attitude we had today and show the same determination.
"Let’s hope that statistic doesn’t end on Saturday [they haven’t won at home in League Two this season.] We’ll show them a lot of respect, but we need to do a job to stay in the top three and hopefully we do that.
"We know there will be a long, long throw coming in! Myself and Ben Tozer got on really well when he was here, we still keep in touch now, and we’re good friends on that part.
"But he’ll say the same thing if he got asked the same question, when we step on to the football pitch it’s all about winning for our team.
"I would always wish Ben well – except when we play them!"
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