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REACTION | Tom King: "We knew the pressure was on before the game"

21 April 2021

Tom King says Newport County AFC felt the pressure to get back on track in Tuesday's clash against play-off rivals Crawley Town.

The Exiles, who had picked up two points from their last three outings, eventually overcame John Yems' side with a 2-0 victory at Rodney Parade.

County maintained their position in seventh in the table and also kept the distance between themselves and the teams chasing down a play-off spot.

A victory for the away side would have seen them draw level on points with the Exiles in their hunt to secure a top-seven finish.

And King says he felt there was no margin for error against the West Sussex side.

"We knew the pressure was on before the game because we saw the position that they were in below us," said King.

"We’ve seen the teams around us are picking up some form now as well, so we know we can’t afford any more mistakes between now and the end of the season.

"We’ve got four more huge cup finals - and we’ll be looking to get four wins out of four."

King was restored between the sticks - in place of Nick Townsend - for the first time since County's 3-2 defeat against Oldham Athletic at the end of January. 

The goalkeeper chalked up his fourth shutout of the season - and the Exiles' 14th of the league campaign - and enjoyed a relatively quiet evening against the Reds, who only managed a solitary shot on target.

But King believes his clean sheet was down to a collective defensive effort.

"I didn’t know until just before the game," said King on when he was given the nod by manager Michael Flynn.

"It probably helped me in a way because I don’t put too much pressure on myself.

"It’s always a pleasure to help the lads out and we’re all in it together and we need to keep things fresh for the run-in.

"We played with such intensity and they couldn’t live with us, so we need to maintain that and will need the whole squad for the last four games.

"It’s a team effort and we defend from the front. Podge [Padraig Amond] didn’t get his rewards with a goal tonight but his defending from the front was brilliant and he chased every ball down like it was the last ball he was ever going to touch."

The Exiles sit three points ahead of Exeter City - the side that they travel to on Saturday afternoon - after their goalless draw against Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday.

Salford City also closed the gap on the play-off positions to three points with a 2-0 win over Walsall.

Exeter have a superior goal difference over County by nine and could replace Flynn's side in the top-seven with a victory on the weekend, and King says his team-mates must emulate their performance against Crawley in their remaining fixtures.  

"The result tonight was massive," added King.

"I think that sets our stall out now and teams will know that we're back and we mean business.

"We’ve just got to maintain that intensity for the last four games and we won’t let our hard work in the previous games go to waste."


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