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PRESS | Michael Flynn talks facing early league leaders Crewe Alexandra at Rodney Parade tomorrow

23 August 2019

Manager Michael Flynn says there’s never a good time to play Crewe Alexandra but insists his Newport County AFC players will thrive off facing the team sitting top of the League Two table for the second week in succession.

Last weekend, Plymouth Argyle came to Rodney Parade atop of the table but one point from the last six for the Pilgrims has allowed Crewe to overtake them at the summit with the Railwaymen the only side to pick up nine points to start the campaign.

The Cheshire outfit were also top of the league when they came to Rodney Parade last season and Flynn believes his players will thrive off the challenge of another tough game in-front of their home supporters.

He explained: “Crewe are one of these teams where it can always be a bad time to play them. Whether their struggling or playing really well, they’ve always got a result in them.

“I really think Crewe will have a good season this year and you can never write them off. They’ve got a lot of fight about them and that’s something David Artell would have installed into them.”

“David has done a really good job and I think Crewe always start well,” he added.

“It’s going to be a tough game, they’re full of confidence, got some really good players and David has kept the continuity there with the players. It’s a game I’m looking forward to as always because it’s at home and I want to win.”

Following the contest, County will turn their attentions to the eagerly anticipated Carabao Cup tie with Premier League giants West Ham United.

The Exiles haven’t reached the Third Round of the competition since the early 1960s but Flynn says attention will not be turning towards that game until 5pm Saturday.

“Crewe is a much more important game,” he commented.

“I want to go into the West Ham game off the back of a win, looking solid, and I want to continue what we’ve been doing to start the season.

“The players have been as good as gold and I said it last season as well. They’re just a joy, I can’t praise them highly enough, they just concentrate on the next game and that’s the mentality we’ve got.

“If you start looking too far ahead, you’ll quickly fall behind.”

County head into tomorrow’s game with one of the most imperious defensive records and they’ve already kept three clean sheets from four league matches to start the campaign.

Looking a little further back, the Exiles have kept 11 clean sheets from their last 14 home matches in League Two, conceding just four goals in that time.

“They say titles are won on your defence,” he added.

“You’ve always got to make sure you aren’t conceding and there’s been games where we haven’t been at it going forward, but we’ve kept a clean sheet.

“The Walsall result was a fantastic one because it’s a tough place to go and Walsall are a very strong team.”

In terms of team news, Flynn confirmed a couple of members of the squad might make it back to fitness in time, but they’ll be closely monitored in training today before a decision is made.

He concluded: “There’s a couple who may be available for tomorrow, but we’ll have to see after training – we’ll give them as long as possible to come into contention.

“Two won’t make it and then there’s the three doubts. Fingers crossed they come through.”


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