Dolan looks ahead to Oldham

Captain Matty Dolan says positive results on the road will make the Rodney Parade homecoming "extra special" as the Exiles prepare for a series of away games in August.

The Exiles start their 2021/22 campaign away to Keith Curle’s Oldham Athletic on Saturday and will be on the hunt for a first opening day win since 2013 - when the Exiles defeated Accrington Stanley 4-1 at Rodney Parade.

Dolan will be taking charge of his first competitive game as County captain and admits that the squad want to get off to the best possible start away from home to prepare for a warm welcome back to Newport.

“In my first year here, we had a similar kind of scenario [with the pitch] so we know what it's like. We won't be thinking it's tough, we're going to go into every game wanting to win that game and set ourselves up with a nice homecoming,” said Dolan.

“If we can get a good start with all these away games in a row then it makes the homecoming extra special, and that's something that we'll be looking to do.”

The Exiles suffered a 3-2 loss against the Latics last time out but will be looking to set the record straight at Boundary Park.

“It was a challenging game up there last season but we’re still looking to go out there and get the three points that’ll get us off to that good start.

“We’ve had a good but tough pre-season. We’ve come together as a squad and now we’ve got a new challenge ahead of us and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Dolan now wants to put the heartache of last season's play-off final defeat behind him and use it as a catalyst to spur the whole squad on for another chance of fighting towards the top of the table.

“There’s no hangover from the play-off final but we can’t disregard everything we did well last season because I think, as a football club, we developed into a new level that we maybe haven’t seen for quite some time.

"There were a lot of changes and that’s something that we’ll look to carry on and go one further this time around.”