Padraig Amond insists the Newport County AFC squad will ‘leave everything on the Wembley pitch’ as they go in search of achieving a promotion which would put the club into the third tier for the first time in over 30 years.
The Exiles contest the League Two play-off final on Saturday against Tranmere Rovers and the squad are treating proceedings as just another week.
Amond says that environment around the camp will ensure the players don’t become fazed by the occasion at Wembley Stadium as they look to cap off a superb season with promotion.
On trying to not do anything differently in the build-up to the game…
“It is just a normal week. You can’t treat this game any differently to the first game of the season.
“Each game is as important as the next one. We want to finish the season on a high and get the club promoted. Everyone in the dressing room is pulling in the same direction to try and make it happen.
“But at the same time, Tranmere are doing the exact same. It’s going to be a tough game, more than likely it’ll be red hot as well because it always is. At Wembley, it always falls on the hottest day of the year.
“It’s the 62nd game of the season but you wouldn’t have thought that in the last ten minutes away at Mansfield Town. And we’ve come a long way since the first game of the season where we got beat by them.
“It’s been an important learning curve. Every time we’ve lost a game this season, we’ve been no different than when we’ve won a game. We’ve not got carried away and that’s the one thing that the gaffer has drilled into us.”
On playing at Wembley again…
“It’s unbelievable. I’m one of the last ones who grew up remembering the FA Cup being the massive occasion it was. Everyone always watched cup final day at the old Wembley.
“I always wanted to play there. When you walk out of the ground through the tunnel and look around, you see all the supporters that have followed you.
“The Spurs game last season was on a Wednesday night and there was over 7,000 Newport fans and the noise they made was unbelievable.
“The club is only going to get bigger and bigger. You only have to look at a club like Manchester City because they weren’t selling out stadiums ten years ago and they were in Division Two [now League Two] twenty years ago.
“A lot can happen in twenty years and we want to make a legacy for supporters and want them to support Newport County AFC.”
On the togetherness within the dressing room…
“Everyone likes each other, it’s as simple as that. There’s no one that doesn’t get on in the squad. And that’s massive for us.
“If you come into your workplace and you enjoy working there then it’s going to be a lot better.
“Everyone is pulling in the same direction and everyone wants to be here. Everyone has bought into what the gaffer and the staff, Wayne Hatswell, have built together.
2That’s evident with what everyone sees on the pitch. No matter what happens, everyone leaves everything on the pitch.
“Mansfield Town was the game where that shone through the most because we should have won the game in normal time. We went and fought until the very end and you could see what it meant to the lads.”
On the season from a personal perspective…
“It’s been a brilliant season. When I was at Grimsby Town, I scored more goals, but this season has been the best of my career.
“I’ve got more assists than I’ve ever gotten, scored a lot of important goals and more importantly I think, I’ve contributed to the team.
“It has been an unbelievable season so far but on Saturday, promotion would top it all off and be the icing on the cake.
“You want to make yourself club legends, everyone wants to be remembered. There’s no better way of being remembered than getting promoted into League One.
“It would be a fantastic achievement for the players and the club. We’re focused on leaving everything on the pitch and hopefully it’s good enough on the day.”