Matty Dolan admits Newport County AFC weren’t at the races against Exeter City in their Leasing.Com Trophy defeat last night but insists the Exiles will bounce back when they return to League Two action next weekend.
Matt Jay’s stunning double at Rodney Parade gave the Grecians all three group points and left County with two defeats from two, although they do still have a mathematical chance of qualifying on the final matchday of the competition.
The Exiles have a rare weekend off with the Cheltenham Town match postponed due to international call-ups, and Dolan says the break will see County coming back stronger than ever to ensure a continuation of the positive league momentum.
Here, you can read everything Dolan exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the match…
On the defeat to Exeter City…
"It’s a frustrating one. I think we started well first half, probably should have put some chances away because we played some really good football in the first half.
"Second half was very flat and not up to scratch.
"There’s lads in there that are pushing towards the first team squad which is flying so we have to make sure we perform and unfortunately second half we didn’t do that.
"I think we played some good stuff in the first half, obviously could have been a bit more clinical.
"They got the goal towards the end of the first half which kind of deflated us a bit. We went out in the second half positive but whether it’s a lack of match fitness for a couple of boys, we just weren’t good enough second half."
On five academy players being integrated into the first team squad…
"First half, I think Dom Jefferies at right back has to be up there with the best player on the pitch.
"Little Elis [Watts] in there [the midfield] with us ran his socks off.
"It was changed at half time but the lads that came on did very well as well.
"It’s a great experience for them playing with the first team lads, we have to lead by example, but trying to bring the academy lads through is important.
"With ten changes, I think it’s important that we sort of come in and look after the boys that haven’t played the majority of games all season."
On a rare weekend off before hosting Scunthorpe United on October 19th…
"I think quite a lot of the boys will spend some family time. If we are to get a couple of days off, the lads have warranted them.
"Every footballer will tell you that if you are going to get a few days off then you’ll work god damn hard in the days leading up to it.
"We’ll work hard because the reward is to go and see your family or go and see people you haven’t seen for a while. You can rest, you can take yourself away from it all because it has been hectic in the first 12 games.
"We’ll look to use it right but as soon as we’re back in training, we’ll be fully focused on Scunthorpe next Saturday.
"Everyone will have their eye on the table on Saturday to see what’s going on.
"We’ll be fighting fit ready for next Saturday to carry on that league momentum. We’ve been doing very well; the performance wasn’t the greatest on Saturday, but we kept fighting until the end to get the win.
"We’ve got to take that into the work on the training pitch and then go from there and make sure we’re ready and raring to go and get three points against Scunthorpe."