Newport County AFC must use the upcoming 15-day break to their advantage and come back ready to fight for the League Two play-offs, according to Exiles striker Ade Azeez.
Next weekend’s match against Oldham Athletic has been postponed until April 30th after the Latics received four international call-ups – including both goalkeepers.
That gives the Exiles a much-needed period of rest and relaxation following a recent gruelling schedule with Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday matches most weeks.
Last night’s victory over Cheltenham Town means County can take confidence into the break knowing they have done all they can to close the gap on the play-offs ahead of today’s fixtures and next weekend’s as well.
They will then come back knowing exactly what they have to do to break into the top-seven and will have two games in hand to help them achieve it.
Here, you can exclusively read what Azeez told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the match against the Robins.
On the victory over Cheltenham Town…
"It was a great win. A very tough first-half, maybe didn’t play our best football but we dug in there, 0-0 at half-time, and we upped it a fraction for the second-half.
"We caused Cheltenham a lot more trouble after that, set the tone better in the second-half, still wasn’t pretty but it was just one of those games.
"I felt we were the better team tonight and it was an excellent three points."
On the half-time dressing down from the management…
"Sometimes football is like that – I don’t really know what it was, but we really didn’t start off well.
"We knew that as players, tried to get each other going and it maybe took until the gaffer and Hats gave us a rocket at half-time to perform better. I think we did prove that we want to play for this club, we proved we wanted to fight for the club and the fans as well.
"There were two different approaches. The gaffer let us know, he’ll never hold back and neither does Hats really.
"They both had their opinions, didn’t hold back and it did help us. We went back out there and just wanted to prove to them, the fans and ourselves that we could go out there and get the three points.
"I wouldn’t say it was two bad cops because it worked. It shouldn’t take that to get us going but it worked, and I feel like it helped us."
On fitting in to the County attacking force…
"I feel like even though I’ve only been here for a short time, it actually feels like I’ve been here all season in a way.
"I think we all know each other’s strengths already and I’m starting to know how other players like to play and they know how I like to play.
"I’m starting to make runs now based on what I know they’re going to do and they’re starting to play the ball where they know I like it.
"That’s due to us all working hard in training, listening to the advice from the gaffer and Hats. It’s all coming together now and playing up-front with Jamma and Podge helps definitely."
On having a 15-day break until the next match following the Oldham Athletic postponement…
"It’s a long time, you can say that again! It’s the way the season is, in football anything can happen.
"I feel everything happens for a reason, we’ve had a lot of games in the last few weeks, so it’ll be nice to relax the body, keep ticking ourselves over ready to go again for the last nine fixtures.
"It’s important to relax, I’ll be getting the muscles relaxed because I’ve only played a handful of games since coming back from injury, so I am feeling stiff at the moment that’s for sure.
"I’ll relax, go home, take it easy and be ready to come back next week, go hard for a couple of days ready for the Yeovil away game.
"I can start looking around as well for accommodation, get the ball rolling because we all know how long these things can take.
"I can settle in a bit more, it’ll give me more time to get things sorted off the pitch."
On trying to arrest some poor away form in that next contest at Yeovil Town…
"The play-offs are still on, we don’t know how the other fixtures will go this weekend, but it could be five points still with a game in hand. You just never know.
"I never felt like it was off. I know we had two bad results on the road but this win against Cheltenham was important and we’re still on track. Nine games left, listen anything can happen.
"Yeovil are down there at the minute so they’re going to be fighting for their lives. It’s going to be a really tough game, we can’t go there thinking that they’re down and out because they want to stay in this league.
"Every game is another opportunity at redemption, especially away from home because we haven’t been great, and we’ll look to put that right. I feel like we’ve got the squad to do that."