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PRE-MATCH | Michael Flynn: "There’s no pressure for us"

8 April 2021

Manager Michael Flynn says Newport County AFC have their sights set on a top-three finish in their bid to secure promotion this season.

The Exiles maintained their position in seventh place in the Sky Bet League Two table after Monday's 1-0 victory over fellow promotion chasers Bolton Wanderers, who saw their 14-game unbeaten run come to an end at Rodney Parade.

Flynn's men also cut the gap between themselves and the automatic places to four points, while they also hold a game in hand over Tranmere Rovers, who occupy third in the table.

Despite setting the pace at the Sky Bet League Two summit for the first half of the season, County have been out of the top three since the 2-1 defeat against Harrogate Town at the end of January.

But Flynn says his side still harbour hopes of climbing back into the top three in their remaining eight games.

"If you look at the table, we’re four points behind with a game in hand," said Flynn.

"If you don’t say it’s realistic then you might as well pack up now and say we’ll take 10th."

"There’s still so much work to do," he continued.

"One win doesn’t change everything but it gives the players a lot of confidence for the last eight games. The way they battled and stuck together was pleasing to see because if we did that in the previous three games, we would’ve had at least another six points out of nine."

The Sky Bet League Two table is still very tight, with Bradford, who sit 12th and five points adrift of the Exiles, still gunning for a place in the play-off positions.

County have played a game less than five out of the six teams above them, while they also gave a two-game cushion over leaders Cambridge United.

And the Exiles boss says the pressure is on the teams around them.

"We’ve got eight games to go and it’s all to play for," he added.

"There’s no pressure for us. There are a lot of clubs who need to go up this season because they are expected to.

"With the start we had, all we did was raise expectations around the place. The boys are so level-headed and down to earth. I’ll never let them get too up or too down until it’s over."

County will have the opportunity to tighten their grip on a place in the top seven when they travel to the One Call Stadium to take on Mansfield Town on Friday evening.

The Exiles take on the Stags a day before their promotion rivals are in action, and will have defender Mickey Demetriou back in contention for the trip to Nottinghamshire after he served his one-match suspension.

"You want to go on a bit of a run now because time is obviously running out," said Flynn.

"We’ve got a really tough game on Friday. I know they’re at the wrong end of the table, but they’ve got a very strong squad and a good manager, so they can be a match for anyone on their day.

"It’s a tough one and one which we’ll have to be ready for."


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