Mike Flynn says Newport County AFC could be about to play one of the key games of their season against Colchester United but believes there will be no cause for concern if they can’t secure all three points in Essex.
County are five points away from the play-offs with a game in hand, whereas Colchester are outside of the top-seven solely by goal difference.
It would be another statement victory for the Exiles if they could get all three points in Essex, but Flynn feels there’s still plenty of time to make up the gap on the play-offs regardless of result tomorrow.
“There’s still a lot to play for,” he affirmed.
“12 games to go and we’re starting with two really tough ones. Let’s not dress it up, they’re two really tough games. We could do with a fully fit squad but unfortunately we haven’t got that.
“It could be [a key game] but even if we don’t get a result on Saturday but then do on Tuesday, that still keeps us in the mix with 10 games to go.
“A lot of the teams [above County] still have to play each other, there’s pressure on those big teams and a lot will be fighting for their lives as well.
“I think Danny Cowley has come out and said that the expectation for Lincoln at home has maybe got to them a little bit, they’ve had four draws in five there I think, so it does affect teams in different ways.
“We’ve got nothing to lose but we’ve got something to go and enjoy and go and express ourselves.”
The game at the JobServe Community Stadium will represent the second time County face Frank Nouble since he left for Essex last summer.
Nouble saw a shot cleared off the line by Padraig Amond in the reverse fixture at Rodney Parade back in November, and Flynn is looking forward to a reunion with his former striker.
“It’ll be interesting,” he added.
“Look, I get on well with Frank, he’s a funny character and I’m hoping he has an off day.
“When he has a good day, he’s a very, very talented footballer.
“So let’s just hope he has one of those days where it just doesn’t go right for him.”
Talking about the chase for the play-offs, Flynn added: “I’d rather have the points on the board, I won’t lie to you.
“We have to win a certain amount of games to get into the play-offs. If the teams above us match what we do, then we could win 12 out of 12 and not get into them.
“It’s one of those things where we’ve just got to go and finish on a high.
“I’m in the ‘Great Escape’ territory with this, I think we need seven wins out of the 12.
“If we match the first 12 games of this season and do it now, then we won’t be far off.”
The game in Essex comes off the back of some unbelievable news for the club after Padraig Amond was called up to the Republic of Ireland provisional squad ahead of their 2020 European Qualifiers.
If he does get onto the pitch in either match, Amond will become only the second player to win a senior cap while at County since Nigel Vaughan and Steve Lowndes both played for Wales in a friendly against Brazil in June 1983.
Calaum Jahraldo-Martin, who left the Exiles last summer, turned out for Antigua & Barbuda against Bermuda and Jamaica in March 2018.
“I am extremely proud of him. It’s nothing short of what he deserves,” Flynn affirmed.
“He’s going to work with a fantastic manager in Mick McCarthy and it goes to show all the professional footballers out there that they shouldn’t give up on their dream, whatever that may be.
“Podge has shown at the age of 30 that you can get an international call-up.
“Hopefully he gets into the full squad because I’m sure he’ll score goals for them.”
Flynn continued: “Podge is one of the best professionals I’ve come across in a long career both as a player and now as a manager.
“He’s a fantastic lad, got a lovely family, and I’m sure they’ll be having a few celebratory drinks over in Carlow.
“Look, let’s just hope he gets into the full squad because it’ll be a moment he’ll never forget.”