Michael Flynn has warned his Newport County AFC players against complacency as they get themselves prepared for the final seven days of the regular League Two season.
The Exiles wrestled back control of the play-offs over the Easter period with a victory over automatic promotion chasing Bury FC and a draw at strugglers Macclesfield Town.
That four-point haul saw County close the gap on Exeter City in 7th position to just two points and the Exiles have a game in hand over the Grecians.
That means three wins from the final three games will be enough to see County continue their season past May 4th but Flynn knows it won’t be as simple as that.
He affirmed: “It sounds nice that it’s in our own hands, but we’ve got three really difficult fixtures coming up. We’ve got to take them one at a time as I’ve always said and it’s going to be very difficult on the weekend against the champions.
“I think we’ve overachieved again, no matter how it ends up. We’ve improved on all the cup competitions and we’re in a position going into the last week of the season where we could get into the play-offs.
“I can’t remember the last time that happened.”
Flynn continued: “I’m still not talking about the play-offs too much, we’re 11th not 7th. We need to win definitely two out of three and hope a couple of results go our way.
“In an ideal world you want to win them all obviously as it takes it away from everyone else’s hands. But it’s going to be difficult – seven points might not be the end of the world; it could get us through.
“We’re Newport County AFC. Nothing is ever simple.
“We’ll wait and see. It’s interesting, it’s exciting but definitely no pressure.”
First up in the run of three massive games is the champions Lincoln City who confirmed the title with a draw against Tranmere Rovers on Monday afternoon.
The Imps have only lost one league match in 2019 – a 1-0 reverse to Carlisle United on Good Friday – and Flynn says Lincoln are deserved League Two champions.
He continued: “They’ve played some really good football this season as well and don’t always get the credit where they deserve it.
“Danny Cowley and his brother Nicky have recruited really well.
“It’s all well and good having the funds to do it but you’ve got to use it right and they’re very deserved champions in my opinion.
“It’s going to be a difficult game.
“Even if they rest four or five, they’ve got four or five who can come in and it wouldn’t make much difference.
“Whoever they pick, there’ll be players trying to impress to become part of the plan for League One.
“Danny and Nicky are very professional as are Lincoln City as a football club so we’ve just got to worry about ourselves and do what we can.
“We definitely aren’t thinking that they’ll be on the beach. Listen, they’ll keep going and will want to finish off strongly.
“It would be great to have a full house tomorrow. I know Lincoln are bringing a lot down as well.”
This morning’s press conference was the first time Flynn had spoken to the media since David Pipe announced his retirement on Tuesday.
The right-back will leave to pursue other ventures at the end of the season after 20 years’ service to the professional game and 205 appearances for County across two spells.
“He’s been a fantastic professional for this football club,” Flynn said.
“He’s been here through thick and thin – gone away, come back. Part of the Great Escape, part of the promotion into the Football League. Part of the cup runs this season and last season.
“I’ve got nothing but good words to say about him and it’s almost an end of an era so to speak.
“He’s got other ventures which he wants to pursue, and he goes with my blessing. I wish him all the luck in the world, and I hope it goes really well for him.
“He’s been perfect for me.”