Newport County AFC Manager Michael Flynn insists previous history means ‘absolutely nothing’ as he prepares to take the Exiles on their first away match of the season at Cambridge United tomorrow.
County have won each of the last six meetings against the U’s to a combined aggregate of 17-5, including Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond both getting four against Cambridge in the 2018/19 campaign.
The Exiles didn’t have the greatest record against Colin Calderwood’s men before this recent purple patch and Flynn is refusing to buy anything into previous results.
“It means for absolutely nothing,” Flynn said. “The results have come because we probably played better than them at that point in time.”
It’s something to think about, we need to start bright and take our chances, but I think Cambridge have vastly improved this season with the players brought in.
“I’ve got the utmost respect for Colin Calderwood and his staff and he’s somebody who is really highly respected in the game. Colin has signed some good players. I like the right back, Kyle Knoyle, who was at Swindon previously.
“They’ve just signed Marc Richards who is an experienced player at this level. They’ve also got players like George Maris to come back in, so we’ll have to see what team they put out.
“It’s going to be a tough, tough afternoon.”
It’s fair to say that County’s home form vastly towered far above exploits on the road last season, with County picking up 48 points at Rodney Parade and just 23 away from South Wales.
Flynn has already affirmed that he feels League Two is stronger this campaign, and therefore, he wants a bigger points haul on the road to give them a chance of a top seven finish.
He commented: “I hope we do improve the away form. It was only six away wins last season and we need to turn the losses we had into draws, then the draws into wins.
“I know it’s an easy thing to say but we’ll be looking to win more than six games away from home definitely because if we want to be around the top seven, we’ll need to do that.
“It’s just down to cutting out some mistakes.”
County highlighted their promotion credentials with an impressive first half display against bookies favourites Mansfield Town last Saturday, although a lapse at the beginning of the second half ensured the two sides shared a 2-2 draw.
Flynn continued: “I’m more frustrated for the boys because the performance they put in, they deserved to win the game against Mansfield.
“You can’t have a 10/15 minute period like we did after half time against a team like Mansfield.
“It’s something the boys need to learn from and hopefully we can learn from playing against 10 men as well – even though I thought we created a few chances after that, we should have played the ball quicker and moved it wide to get more crosses into the box.”
During the Mansfield draw at Rodney Parade, Joss Labadie led out the side and performed the role superbly, putting in last ditch challenges and leading his charges when required.
Flynn says the midfielder will now wear the armband on the pitch for the 2019/20 campaign while Mark O’Brien, who captained the team for the majority of last season, will also have responsibility.
He explained: “Joss Labadie will be the captain on the pitch because he takes the responsibility really well and I think we get more out of him.
“Mark O’Brien will be vice-captain and also club captain because I think Mark’s got a special place in Newport County AFC history now and he’s at the age where he can handle the responsibility of being the club figure, the face around the community and things like that.
“This decision will bring the best out of the both of them.”