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PRESS | Mike Flynn previews Saturday's trip to Tranmere Rovers

20 September 2018

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PRESS | Mike Flynn previews Saturday's trip to Tranmere Rovers

20 September 2018

Mike Flynn insists he will demand a response from his Newport County AFC players on Saturday against Tranmere Rovers after falling behind the expected standards last time out at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles suffered their first home league defeat since April, ending the only remaining 100% home record left in the division in the process, after now play-off occupying Yeovil Town secured a 6-0 victory in South Wales.

And while Flynn was again happy to praise the Glovers for their performance at Rodney Parade, he reiterated his belief that the team have to make less errors if they are to achieve results this season.

He affirmed: “Listen, as much as it was a completely freak result, I’m not going to take anything away from Yeovil because we knew what they were good at.

“We did all the homework, the analysis, spoke through what we expected from them and what they’re good at on the training ground, and we unfortunately did everything that suited them.

“I know we had a very good spell after the first goal went in where for 15 – 20 minutes we looked like we could get back into the game, but you can’t make that many errors in a football match and expect to get away with it.

“We’ve all looked at the game, myself, the players and my staff and it’s just one of those days where everything went wrong.”

He added: “There was nobody more embarrassed after the game than me. It would have been easy to start thinking of things out of the ordinary why that result happened, but the bottom line is we made a lot of mistakes in the game.

“For example, with the first goal I could point out nine individual errors that lead to the first goal. We’ve stripped it all back, looked at everything to improve upon.

“But I don’t want to take anything away from Yeovil because they counter-attacked us at pace and took their chances. They had eight on target and scored six of them, so it was very efficient from them.”

County have the chance to put that defeat behind them when they make the long trip to Merseyside to face Tranmere Rovers, the side promoted from the National League last season after a play-off final victory against Boreham Wood.

After a great start to the season that has seen them suffer defeat only once so far, Rovers currently occupy the place below the play-offs in the League Two table.

They boast arguably the most in-form striker in England’s top four divisions at the moment, with James Norwood already contributing 70% of their league goals this campaign as part of the 67 goals he has for the club from just 135 appearances.  

It will be just a third meeting between the two sides since County’s reformation in 1989, with two draws occurring the last time they met in the 2014/15 campaign.

And Flynn believes the Exiles can look at their last two resolute and dogged away performances at Port Vale and Oldham Athletic as reasons why they can go to Prenton Park and make it three on the bounce away from home.

He said: “When I saw the table after the game and it said we were still third, it was reassuring to show how well we have done before that. We need a reaction on the weekend and a really good performance because it’s going to be very tough at Tranmere.

“Of course the players want to bounce back [away from home in Merseyside.] The players love this football club, they’ve bought into the ethics and the expectancy of what the fans expect from them.

“That was let down on Saturday. All of us let the fans down on Saturday but there’s not many times that you can say that has happened since I came in. There’s been more good times than bad that’s for sure.

“I’m always straight and honest with things and I have to say I was disappointed for the supporters. We’re all in it together, we win together, we lose together, and they’ve been excellent so far.

“The players were hurt, and they still were over the weekend, but we’ve got to put it behind us now and hopefully put it right on Saturday.”

Some early team-news ahead of the trip to Tranmere Rovers sees Flynn adamant he will not overreact to last week’s defeat and will instead trust his players to put things right in Merseyside.

He stated: “There’s probably some players that will come into mind for the weekend but again, it would be easy to have an overreaction and make those wholesale changes.

“I will not be doing that – there might be one or two changes but the boys who have got us into third position so far have played some very good football.

“They’ve shown they are not bad football players and one bad game does not make you a bad player overnight. It’s their job to bounce back and prove that now.

“For the past few days, the boys have been training really well under some tough sessions. We’ll do the same today and hopefully that gets them ready for Saturday.”

There will, however, be two definite absentees missing in the County midfield at Prenton Park on Saturday as Robbie Willmott starts his three-match suspension and Andrew Crofts is also unavailable.

County’s captain recovered from his toe injury to feature against Oxford United in the Carabao Cup last month but has since suffered another setback on the road to recovery.

Flynn confirmed: “Robbie and Crofty are the definite [absentees.]

“It’s something we could do without because I thought Robbie looked good in the games he’s been involved in. It’s frustrating because on his day, he’s a very valuable player for us. He’s out for the three [league] games after the red card but he can play in the CheckaTrade against Chelsea U21s.

On his captain, Flynn continued: “Andrew’s got a little bit of swelling on the back of his achilles. It’s a bit of a dodgy area because you don’t want to mess around with the achilles because if that goes, then it’s a real long layoff.

“That’s just a precaution and it’s the first time that Andrew has missed games with a muscle injury for two years so it’s frustrating him.

“He’s dying to get on the pitch, but we need to be careful.”


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