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EXCLUSIVE | Joe Day reflects on his 200th County appearance during victory at Tranmere Rovers

24 September 2018

A clean sheet and all three points ensured it was the “perfect” way for Joe Day to celebrate his 200th competitive appearance for Newport County AFC, according to the shot stopper himself.

Day had a lot to thank his defence for when making the notable occasion memorable as they wrote the headlines at both ends of the pitch, including Fraser Franks getting the games only goal.

When Dan Butler floated a delivery into the area, Franks worked his way past the two Tranmere centre-halves to get on the end of a Padraig Amond flick-on, calmly dispatching the opportunity from 12 yards like a seasoned striker.

Tranmere striker James Norwood wastefully chipped over the crossbar, but other than that Rovers constantly found the brick wall of the County defence in their way and they couldn’t muster an attempt on target until stoppage time.

Day had to use his quick-thinking to divert a Jonny Smith cross-shot around the post as it looked like it may creep in, before acrobatically denying Larnell Cole from the resultant corner-kick.

That was enough for Day to celebrate his momentous occasion with all three points and here, you can read what the goalkeeper exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the game.

 

On his 200th competitive appearance for Newport County AFC…

"It was the perfect day for myself - a win and a clean sheet. I’m still remembering living off the 1-0 victory down at Portsmouth on my first game. So that’s two 1-0 victories away from home – my 400th appearance? Who knows what stadium that’ll be at, but hopefully another 1-0 win!

"It would be impossible in a few words to summarise my time here, but I will say I’ve really, really enjoyed these 200 games for Newport County AFC.

"There’s been lots of change during my time here, lots of ups and downs, but I personally feel the club is in the best place it’s been right now during my whole time that I’ve been here so it’s positive.

"We’ve had a great start to the season so that proves it I think [the club is looking positive.] I said in the week that we’ve had a great start, but we still needed to make sure it wasn’t just a start and we use it to build a good season.

"If we can come to tough places like Tranmere and grind out 1-0 wins then we’ll take that all day long. It’s been a very good start and hopefully we keep it going."

 

On the defensive solidarity of the team at Prenton Park…

"It was a great response and if we’re all honest, it was a response we needed. The minimum task if you like was to come here and defend, we obviously didn’t defend well last week, so we had to come here and do that.

"Despite Tranmere only having those two attempts on target, they bombarded us with crosses into the box. The lads dealt with it superbly and in the first-half, the only chance they really had was when James Norwood dinked it over the crossbar.

"From the front all the way to the back, we defended as a solid unit and like I say we managed to limit their opportunities at us. It was a great defence performance away from home.

"I think after last week as well, it takes a lot of character to be able to put in a defensive performance like that. Confidence could have taken a knock, but we didn’t allow that to happen, we said in the week that it was a blip, and hopefully we’ve proved that today.

"This is a tough place to come, it can be a little bit hostile, but we dealt with it really well today and it’ll be a good journey home."

 

On 298 fans travelling to Merseyside…

"We could hear the supporters today from the first minute until the last. I think they outsung the home fans who were also in large numbers.

"I’ve said it before, they are massive for us especially when we come away and we’re trying to hold on for the win.

"Their voice helps get us over the line and it carries us on. The fans have been right behind us all season and we were all disappointed to let them down so badly last week.

"So as you say with three home games coming up, two of which in the league, we want to put in performances to make up for last week and hopefully today’s result helps as well."

 

On Fraser Franks grabbing his second goal of the campaign…

"I couldn’t tell you why Fraser was that high up the pitch but you’ve seen already this season, we’ve had goals come from all over the pitch.

"If one of our defenders’ steps up, someone else always covers, and Fraser knows he’s got the cover and the freedom to go and get forward.   

"He’s shown a bit of composure in the penalty area and drilled it home under the goalkeeper. It’s a great finish from him and again proves we can score from all over the pitch which is a great attribute to have in the team.

"I’m sure Podge will be jealous of that finish, it was really good, but just watching Podge today – his work rate was unbelievable, same with Antoine and Jamille when he came on.

"Their work rate does so much for us, I know strikers are mostly judged just on goals, but the strikers' work rate was unbelievable and it allowed us to get that 1-0 win."

 

On trying to take that resolute defensive display into the CheckaTrade Trophy encounter with Chelsea U21s on Tuesday night…

"Whatever team the manager chooses will go out to try and win because it’s a game we need a positive result from, especially after the defeat in the competition previously.

"Every game has to be looked at as an individual game and we always try to set up to win each game so whoever the manager picks will be doing that.

"It’s a tricky one because it’s not the usual opposition you are used to playing in League Two.

"League Two can be physical at times, whereas I’m sure Chelsea U21s will come with technical attributes, fitness, pace, power – all the things that come with Premier League players really.

"I don’t think we can change too much how we want to play because we have to do what we do best, and we just have to try to win the game at Rodney Parade."

 

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