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EXCLUSIVE | Padraig Amond reflects on dramatic comeback victory over Cambridge United

30 September 2018

To stage one of the best comebacks ever seen at Rodney Parade goes to show just how united and resilient this squad of Newport County AFC players are, according to striker Padraig Amond.

The Exiles certainly did things the hard way when falling two goals behind within 21 minutes as Reggie Lambe twice found the net after some superb work in and around the penalty area from the attacking midfielder.

County needed to change something to get back into the game, on came Jamille Matt and a formation change from 3-4-1-2 to 4-3-3, and that worked immediately as clever play eventually won a penalty and Mickey Demetriou converted it for his first of the season.

Amond then got his name on the scoresheet when prodding home an equaliser after a mis-kick in the area by Brad Halliday, meaning the Exiles were level three minutes after the restart.

The tide had well and truly changed at Rodney Parade and County ensured they completed a remarkable turnaround as Matt headed home twice in quick succession to secure all three points.

Here, you can read what Amond exclusively told iFollow Exiles upon the conclusion of the game as County made it five wins in succession against their League Two counterparts…

 

On the incredible comeback at Rodney Parade…

"Look, we never really got started and before we knew it we were 1-0 down. I think Mark O’Brien going off injured very early unsettled us a small bit, but we should react a lot better to that.

"But it shows a lot of character for a team to then go 2-0 down at home, on the back of losing 6-0 in the home league game before, and still come back and win the game 4-2. It’s a sign of the strength of this team and what we can do.

"I was involved in a similar sort of game when I was at Morecambe. We were 3-0 down against Chesterfield at half-time and beat them 4-3.

"I’ve been involved in games like that before, yes, and I can tell you one goal can change everything. The penalty before half-time was crucial, we were getting on top at that point and look, credit has to go to the manager for the change he made.

"It’s a brave decision he made, something needed to be changed, and we went for it. It worked out today so credit to the management – Wayne Hatswell, the gaffer and Lennie Lawrence for having the courage to make that change.

"We’ve managed to back it up in the second-half, we played really, really well and were probably unplayable at times.

"It’s a fantastic victory for us and I think overall, it was fully deserved."

 

On the team spirit and unity required to pull off a comeback of that kind…

"You can just tell by looking at the lads, everyone works so hard for each other.

"We changed formation, myself and Antoine have gone wide, and we’ve put a shift in for the team. Charlie Cooper came virtually straight off the bench and did a great job, and Jamille Matt comes of the bench as well and puts in a great performance with two great goals.

"That’s what you need – you need competition all over the pitch, you need great team spirit which is what we have if you want to do something.

"If the game had gone in 2-0 at half-time then it gives them a better chance to set their stall out. We changed formation, put the pressure on them and scored.

"Goals change games and thankfully it changed the game for us. The gaffer had a go at us at half-time, I’ve never seen him like that before at half-time, and we’ve reacted to it.

"We shouldn’t need the gaffer to do that for us to change our performance. Credit where it's due to him and the staff, the decision they made just before half-time has worked out today and it’s a really good day for the club.  

"It’s another step in the right direction, it’s a fantastic win and it’s nice for us to repay the fans after the Yeovil game. I know the Chelsea U21s victory in midweek was a 3-0 win, but league is the bread and butter. This was a big win for us today and it’s great to get it."

 

On breaking his goal-drought by getting the equaliser just after the restart…

"I’m obviously very pleased to have scored today to get us back level. It was a great time to score, just after half-time, because with the goal before the break it changed the momentum of the game and thankfully it’s put us on our way to the victory today.

"I’ll never change how hard I work. I’ll always do the exact same – I’m a very honest player and I’ll leave everything on the pitch.

"If I score I score, if I don’t I don’t. My aim is to score in every game, but my aim is also to contribute to the team. If the team wins the game and I don’t score, I’m happy.

"I’m not one of these players that will sulk if I don’t score and the team wins, for me there is always a bigger picture for the team and that’s making sure we win the next football match.

"If I keep doing my job for the team then I’ll keep my place in the team, there’s competition coming from the rest of the lads which is tough, but it’s healthy competition."

 

On a hat-trick of assists for Dan Butler…

"Dan Butler has already mentioned that in the dressing room!

"I think I’ve got a hattrick of assists of assists if you get what I mean. I won the free-kick for the fourth goal, put the ball in for the penalty and won the corner-kick as well.

"I’m trying to claim everything off Dan, but it just goes to show the quality we have in that dressing room.

"Matty Dolan is unbelievable, probably the best free-kick/corner-kick taker we have at this football club. But Dan Butler’s not a bad replacement, is he?

"Some excellent deliveries today from Dan and that’s what we need."

 

On the test Macclesfield Town will provide at Rodney Parade on Tuesday night…

"Make no bones about it, Macclesfield Town will be a big test on Tuesday night.

"They are due to win a game in League Two eventually so if we take them likely we’ll get turned over, it’s as simple as that.

"We have to be really careful because anyone can beat anyone in this league, you can’t predict any of the results in this league.

"We have to make sure we are right at it on Tuesday night, we can’t start the way we did today because we won’t get away with it again.

"And we also need to finish the game as strong as we did today. If we start and finish the game properly, we’ll have a right chance of getting a result on Tuesday night."

 

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