Keeping a fourth clean sheet in the past five League Two matches shows Newport County AFC have the mental resilience to break into the play-offs come the end of the season, according to Exiles defender Mickey Demetriou.
Goalkeeper Joe Day picked up the man of the match award from the poll on the club’s Twitter and he made three unbelievable saves at The Abbey Stadium to deny Rushian-Hepburn Murphy twice and Brad Halliday.
County’s attack was just as good as the defence with goals from Padraig Amond, Jamille Matt and Harry McKirdy securing the Exiles all three points.
It was a sixth successive victory for County against Cambridge in all competitions and keeps the gap on the play-off positions as five points still with a game in hand.
Here, you can read what Demetriou exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the contest…
On the victory over Cambridge United…
"It’s always nice to keep a clean sheet as a defender.
"I think we battled hard, it was tough, and there was a period of 15/20 minutes where we had to defend really well in the second-half and we did do that.
"Credit to the strikers because they’ve scored goals and we’re buzzing for the win. Three points was massive because we came down here with the pressure on us to keep winning to keep this league alive.
"Hopefully it’s one more to the collection this year and hopefully there’s a few more coming up."
On the defence conceding just one goal in the past five matches…
"Five games, three wins, one goal conceded, and we’ve just got to go again for the next five games.
"If we can replicate that then who knows what could happen?
"It’s a good opportunity for us and we’re just working hard for the gaffer and ourselves, the fans travelled in numbers again which was great to see, and we put in a performance for them.
"We were a back five but that’s a back six really with Joe. We know if anything gets past us then we’ve got him behind us and most of the time he’s going to pull us out of the hat.
"They had a couple of chances in that 10/20 minute spell in the second-half and he saved us.
"That’s what we’re paid to do – keep the ball out of our net and hopefully we get a few more clean sheets before the end of the season. Five massive games left, and we’ll see what happens then."
On Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond reaching 50 goals as a partnership…
"They’ve been different class this year.
"It’s nice for them both to get a goal again and they’ll be so pleased to reach that tally.
"We’ve got a massive game Friday now, hopefully we get a big crowd down at Rodney Parade and hopefully they can score again to make it 42 for the season.
"I haven’t played with many who do that much work for the team, I’ve been lucky to have played with a couple of good strikers in my time and these two are right up there.
"I’ve played with Jamma before obviously and he did it back then and he’s doing it now.
"They deserve all the credit they get, and the goals are just showing how good they are."
On Harry McKirdy’s first goal for the club…
"I’m buzzing for Harry; it was his first touch of the game.
"He’s come in, probably frustrated that he hasn’t played as much as he would have liked to, but he’s been working hard off the pitch.
"He’s taken the opportunity and that’s all the gaffer asked him to do.
"His goal takes the pressure off us because at 2-0, if Cambridge score then it becomes interesting and the pressure increases.
"At 3-0, that killed them off and the pressure was gone. It meant we were relaxed for the last couple of minutes which was nice."
On trying to keep play-off hopes alive against Bury FC on Friday afternoon…
"We have to work hard in training this week and we’ll try to put in a performance for ourselves and the fans.
"We don’t like to do things easy, we like to put pressure on ourselves and we’re doing that.
"It’s a shame because when we dropped points in the last two games, they dropped points, then when we’ve won, they’ve won.
"It would have been nice if they’d have dropped points so we could have closed the gap that little bit more, but we go again.
"This is a massive win and it allows to take confidence into Friday against Bury FC who are a great team.
"We had a good game against them at their place and we expect the same from them again."
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