Labadie pre maldon

Joss Labadie insists Newport County AFC will be able to handle their role as favourites in tonight's Emirates FA Cup second-round clash at Maldon & Tiptree.

The Exiles have earned a fierce reputation in the competition as giant killers with impressive victories over Leicester City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough in recent years. They also took Tottenham Hotspur to a replay in 2018, and acquitted themselves well against Premier League champions Manchester City last season.

But County will travel to the Wallace Binder Ground looking to avoid a shock exit against a team from the eighth tier in the football pyramid.

“It’s a bit different but we’ve still got to apply ourselves the same as we would any other game, [whether against] a higher team or lower team,” said club captain Labadie, who scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Cambridge United at this stage two seasons ago.

“We’ve got to go into the game with a professional manner and hopefully get the win.

“Maldon isn’t too far from where I’m from so I’m well aware of them on the non-league circuit.

“I think it will be a slightly smaller ground but I’m sure it will be a full house so they’ll have the fans right behind them and they’ll try and create an intimidating atmosphere. 

“They went to Leyton Orient and got a positive result and effectively played them off the park so it will be a tough game. 

“The [BBC] cameras are there because it’s a potential banana skin for the team and because of our recent history in the cup as well.

“It’s something we love and enjoy and we’ve given the fans something to shout about.

“We’re just looking to progress in the competition, go there and get a result.”

The 29-year-old is confident the squad can turn their form around after Saturday’s defeat to Oldham Athletic made it three league defeats in a row.

“It’s part and parcel of football, it happens,” he added.

“The results have been indifferent but like the gaffer said we need to all get behind the team, the fans included, and push on because it’s just a blip. 

“We’re working hard every day to try and rectify the mistakes we are making and to build the confidence within the team again.”