Mike Flynn has urged all Newport County AFC supporters to pack the Parade when the Exiles host Yeovil Town tomorrow with the chance to go out in-front at the top of the League Two table.
County are already joint top of the division ahead of the game, only trailing Lincoln City due to an inferior goal difference, but would reach the summit if they better the Imps’ result away at Macclesfield Town.
And Flynn has issued a rallying cry for all supporters to head down to Rodney Parade and help the team try to achieve that goal tomorrow.
“Let’s get behind the team and the club,” he affirmed.
“These are good times at the minute, we’ve all been through the mill with the bad times, but now the football we are playing is encouraging and the position we are in is also encouraging.
“All those things are massively helped by the fans, the ones that have travelled away have been fantastic, the home fans have stuck with us through thick and thin.
“You’ve always got that hardcore group of fans, but you always want to attract as many supporters as possible. Hopefully they then become hooked on Newport County AFC and follow us for the rest of their days.
He added: “We want big crowds on a consistent basis and in order to get that, we know we have to keep on producing good performances and results.
“Hopefully they will all come together tomorrow, the school holidays are over, so everyone is back to their routine and I’m looking forward to a big crowd tomorrow at Rodney Parade.”
Standing in County’s way of potentially reaching the League Two summit will be a Yeovil Town side who are unbeaten since the opening day of the season and just outside the play-offs.
They travel to Rodney Parade having not played a game in 11 days after their league match last weekend was called off due to international call-ups.
The Glovers also have a County legend in their ranks with Gary Warren returning to face the Exiles for the first time since leaving in 2012 having made over 100 appearances for the side.
Flynn will have history on his side at Rodney Parade tomorrow, boasting a 100% record against Yeovil Town from three previous meetings, but he is expecting a much tougher test this time around.
He stated: “Yeovil are much improved this season. I don’t take any notice of what has happened in previous seasons, it’s all about the next game.
“Darren Way has done a good job down there, he’s started to get more of what he is looking for at the club. I know he’s been there quite a while now, but they’ve had a little bit more of a budget boost recently and he’s been able to get some more players that he wanted.
“He’s going to be up for it. He’ll want to get one over on us and we’ve got to make sure we’re at the races otherwise it’s going to be a tough game.
“They’ve got a lot of pace in their team. They’ve got some experience there now with Gary Warren being there, so it will be a tough game.
“Make no bones about it, Yeovil will make it difficult, they will be up for it and looking to beat us at home to take a big scalp.”
A victory, regardless of whether it is enough to take County solely out in-front at the top of the table, would still demonstrate how far the side have come under Flynn’s guidance.
Doomed with 12 games to go and 11 points adrift at the foot of the table in 2016/17, Flynn revolutionised the fortunes of the club during the ‘Great Escape,’ alongside an 11th placed finish and the best Emirates FA Cup run since 1979 last season.
Reflecting on a whirlwind 18 months, Flynn affirmed: “I obviously thought this was possible otherwise I wouldn’t have taken over.
“I’ve said it lots of times before, but my wife asked me not to take the job when I first took over because she was worried that my first job in management could end in relegation.
“I had belief in myself, I had belief in the group that were there and thankfully we managed to do it.
“We’ve been able to build blocks to improve upon, we did that last season with the league position and the cup run, and now we’ve started well this season as well.
“It’s progressing nicely and that’s what we want as a football club.”
All eyes, certainly at half-time and full-time anyway, will be looking as to how Lincoln City are getting on at the Moss Rose against Macclesfield Town.
But Flynn has warned his players against becoming too focused on other results, insisting the side need to get their own job done first before worrying about anything else.
He continued: “As long as we’re in the top three all season then I’d be happy. That would be good because it’s the same outcome.
“It would be a massive achievement for the club [to go top of the pile,] but I have to say, I’m not at all interested in what Lincoln City do on the weekend.
“We have to take care of business at home and keep on getting the points on the board.”
Following Lincoln’s surprise home defeat to Crawley Town last time out, County are now the only side in the division with a 100% home record to start the League Two campaign.
On that statistic, Flynn added: “It would be massive to keep that going.
“I didn’t particularly want to mention that statistic, but you can also say we’ve won the last six home games in the league. Three from the end of last season, three this season.
“It is a bit of a fortress at the minute and I really want to make it seven wins on the bounce come 5pm on Saturday.”
Another interesting statistic is that following Tyreeq Bakinson’s match winner at Oldham Athletic last weekend, the Exiles have had eight different scorers already in League Two.
Colchester United can match that number but no team in the division can beat it, with Flynn believing it shows the unity of his squad that everyone is chipping in.
“I want everyone scoring and a twenty goal a season striker,” he stated.
“Look, I’ve got no doubts that if fully fit all season, Padraig Amond will get close to that figure, definitely. I think a few others will chip in along the way as well and I think it just goes to show what we’re about.
“It’s all about the team, there’s no individuals here, and it’s something where they’ve got a real close bond together. We’ll have some tough times; some really good times and we’ll enjoy it and learn from it all together. That’s including myself and my staff as well.”
Some early-team news for the encounter with the Glovers sees Flynn with virtually a full-strength side to choose from at Rodney Parade.
And while Flynn wouldn’t be pushed on the solitary absentee, he did confirm that after returning from international duty with concussion, Mark Harris has been passed fit to be involved in the game.
“Look, everybody bar one is fit so that’s pleasing,” he added.
“What I will say is that Mark Harris is fine. He’s fully recovered, trained with us this week and done all his protocol. Thankfully he’s available for tomorrow.
“It’ll be the first time this season that near enough everyone is fit. Two players will have to miss out on the weekend [from the matchday squad] and I’ve not had to do that so far.
“It’s not ideal obviously, but they are the problems I want. It means everyone is competitive and raring to go.”