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Interviews

PRESS | Flynn wants momentum to keep building at Cheltenham Town

22 November 2018

He described it as a ‘massive’ victory but now Michael Flynn wants his Newport County AFC squad to build momentum from the success over Colchester United and embark on a sustained run of positive results in League Two.

County leapfrogged the U’s into the final automatic promotion place on Saturday with a win against them, but clubs continue to try and chase the Exiles for those high league positions and they are only five points clear of 10th place.

In order to keep their spot in the top three, the Exiles will have to make it back-to-back victories in League Two when they go to Cheltenham Town on Saturday, with the Robins on somewhat of a resurgence recently.

They are six unbeaten in all competitions and have kept four successive clean sheets – although they are the only team to have not won at home in the league all season.  

In a further positive statistic, since County’s promotion to the Football League in 2013, the Exiles have remained unbeaten from trips to the Jonny Rocks Stadium having won on 28th December 2014 and drawn on a further three occasions.

“It’s got a bit of that derby feel,” Flynn affirmed.  

“Smaller pitch, away from home, and Cheltenham are a team scrapping down the bottom. It’s going to be tough.

“We’ll have to see what happens come 5pm on Saturday because if we can back up last weekend’s performance with another win then it’s all to play for.

“You need to keep putting runs together because you need those five or six game runs where you win at-least three and draw two. And then you have to keep doing them consistently as well.

“We’re starting to get people back fit so it’s going to be an interesting couple of months.”

Flynn hinted to it, but the Jonny Rocks Stadium is home to one of the smallest pitches in the Football League.

That might aid a certain former Exile on Saturday, but County also have Mickey Demetriou as a reliable source of the secret weapon.

“We’re going to have to deal with that [Ben Tozer’s long throws,]” Flynn continued.

“It’s just one of those things and we’ve got a long throw as well which will be even longer because it’s quite narrow at Cheltenham.

“Hopefully Ben throws it over the crossbar and it goes out for a goal kick.”

It is now important for County to build momentum following the important victory over Colchester United last time out at Rodney Parade.

A clean sheet against the U’s was County’s first in the league since 22nd September and Flynn will now be hoping that the Exiles can replicate or improve upon the four successive wins they obtained in late August / early September.

He added: “If my players turn up and play to the best of their abilities and don’t make any mistakes, then they can beat anybody in League Two.

“That’s not me being arrogant, that’s me knowing what I’ve got in the building.

“We need that luck again with injuries and suspensions, but we have to keep focused. It was a tough game against a good Colchester team on Saturday. I thought they shaded or were slightly the better team in the first half without really creating anything.

“After we changed it around a little bit at half-time, I thought the boys were excellent and I think we deserved the win on the second-half performance. Like I said, we’ve just got to be consistent and Saturday’s result was important because it was against one of the big teams in the league.

“It was big, especially with MK Dons, Lincoln, Swindon all to come in December. It was massively important to get a win over a good Colchester team because it gives the boys more belief.

“The impressive thing was we won the game with seven out. We try not to use it as excuses, but it does disrupt what we try to do.

“It’s credit to the boys that are coming in because they can get good results. But that results gone now, and we need to back it up on the weekend.”

Some early team-news ahead of the trip to Gloucestershire sees Flynn able to confirm a welcome return for captain Andrew Crofts.

“I’m hoping it’s a lot better,” he affirmed.

“We’ve still got a few training days to go but we should have Andrew Crofts back which is good. That’s another one ticked off the list.  

“He’s not let his injury situation pull anybody down. He’s been bright, he’s been breezy about the place which is what you need and is why he’s captain.

“That’s why the boys respect him so much so yeah, the boys respect him a lot off the pitch and now we want to see him on the pitch.

“Somebody with his experience can go a long way to helping when you need to see games out as well.

In further team-news, Flynn said: “Joss trained yesterday, Robbie’s not as bad as we thought. Benno is probably the only long-term one and Tyler Forbes is about two weeks away.

“I doubt Keanu will be available either. He’s got a slight thigh strain which hasn’t really gone away. It’s better to be a little bit precautionary with that.

“Robbie might be okay for Tuesday actually, but we’ll see how he reacts to treatment in the next few days.”

Away from the club scene, Lewis Collins and Jay Foulston received more international recognition for Wales U19s when helping them reach the UEFA U19 Elite round following a victory over San Marino U19s – a game in which Collins netted his first international goal.

“Really pleased for Lewis Collins and Jay Foulston,” Flynn remarked.

“It’s a big thing qualifying for a tournament with your country so it’s good for them and their families and also for the football club.”

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