Michael Flynn believes he’s assembled a squad that is “more than capable” of challenging at the top end of the Sky Bet League Two table again this season.
The Exiles came within touching distance of sealing promotion to the third tier last season after a fifth-placed finish but fell to a 1-0 defeat against Morecambe in the play-off final at Wembley.
Flynn has endured a busy summer transfer window with plenty of movement in and out of Rodney Parade, with the Exiles boss adding 12 additions to his squad ahead of the opening weekend of the new campaign.
And he feels he has enough strength in depth to mount another promotion charge this term.
"It’s tough because you’re always rebuilding a squad but I just hope that we’ve put a squad together that is more than capable of competing in this league.
"I think they’re more than capable of doing that but they’ve got to go and show it now.
"I think we’ve got a lot more pace in the squad and more options all over the pitch this season. The players who come in have big boots to fill but I’m sure they can do it."
County begin their 2021/22 campaign with a trip to Boundary Park to take on Oldham Athletic on Saturday afternoon.
Oldham completed a league double over Flynn’s side last term after a 4-2 defeat at Rodney Parade was followed up by a 3-2 in Greater Manchester.
And Flynn says he is expecting the Latics, who finished as the division’s second-highest goalscorers last season, to keep County's defence busy.
"They’ve got an extremely experienced manager in Keith Curle, who’s somebody I’ve got a lot of time for. I speak to him quite often but I won’t be speaking to him today or tomorrow!
"They’ve lost some players but he’s got a lot of experience of putting a good squad together and they will be dangerous as we saw last season."