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PRE-MATCH | Michael Flynn: "I’m really looking forward to the next five or six weeks because we’ve got a fantastic opportunity"

1 April 2021

Manager Michael Flynn says squad rotation could be key in Newport County AFC's bid to secure promotion this term.

County still occupy the remaining play-off spot in the Sky Bet League Two table, despite being out of action since the 1-0 defeat against Leyton Orient in the middle of March.

International call-ups for Josh Sheehan, Tom King, Luke Gambin, Lewis Collins and Lewys Twamley meant the Exiles' clash against Scunthorpe United last Saturday was postponed.

The break has given Ryan Haynes, who missed the last four games, the chance to recover, while Matty Dolan has also shaken off an injury after being substituted against Orient last time out.

Both will be in contention for the Exiles' long trip to Barrow on Good Friday, and Flynn says he will need to call on his whole squad to play their part in County's promotion push.

"Those who start one game may have to miss out on the next one because of the number of games we’ve got in a short space of time," said Flynn.

"We don't want to be risking any injuries and need to be at full strength for the rest of the season. A few players have been struggling for a few weeks with niggling, but they've had time to rest.

"I'm hoping it's enough time to be honest because we don't want to risk anybody and have them out for the rest of the season.

"The boys who aren’t travelling may even be playing on Monday, so we have to do the right thing."

The Exiles now face 10 games in 37 days in the run-in in their quest to seal their place in the top seven.

Three of those fixtures - against Bolton Wanderers, Cambridge United and Cheltenham Town - are against teams who are currently above them in the table.

"I’m really looking forward to the next five or six weeks because we’ve got a fantastic opportunity," added Flynn.

"We're in a good position and playing teams around us, so we've got to go on a winning streak sooner rather than later.

"If you were going to tell me that we were going to win six games and lose four, I would be very careful over the six I pick because it affects you. We've got to make sure we take points off those above us."

The first of the remaining 10 games begins on Friday with a clash against struggling Barrow, who sit at the opposite end of the league table.

Flynn's men edged past the Bluebirds, who have endured a difficult season following their return to the Football League, with a 2-1 victory at Rodney Parade in their first home league game of the campaign earlier in the season.

But the Bluebirds have made two changes in the managerial hot seat since then, with Michael Jolley replacing David Dunn in December.

Rob Kelly has since been appointed as caretaker boss and got Barrow's Sky Bet League Two survival bid back on track after picking four successive wins in March.

"They’ve picked up a bit and signed a lot of experienced players in January," said Flynn.

"It’s a tough place to go but we’re going there to win the game. We need to win games because draws are neither here nor there at this stage of the season."

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