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REACTION | Michael Flynn: "We are a work in progress"

16 August 2021

Manager Michael Flynn says he was encouraged by Newport County AFC’s performance despite falling to a defeat against Mansfield Town.

Goals from George Maris and Ollie Clarke, either side of Robbie Willmott’s strike, were enough to earn the Stags maximum points at the One Call Stadium - a place where victories for the Exiles have been hard to come by in recent seasons.

It ensured Flynn’s men were condemned to their first defeat of the campaign following back-to-back wins against Oldham Athletic and Ipswich Town in Sky Bet League Two and the Carabao Cup respectively.

But the Exiles boss, who made four changes from the opening day win at Boundary Park, saw enough from his side to leave him feeling upbeat.

“We played quite well against a strong Mansfield team and ultimately our poor defending on the two goals gave them the points, because I felt we were the better team,” Flynn said.

“They were two poor goals to concede from our point of view.

“We have a few injuries and had to change things around but the way that we played against a strong team has given me a lot of confidence, people came in and did very well.

“It’s the second game of the season, it’s been a long week and the boys gave me their all - that’s all I can ask of them.

“We are a work in progress. It will take us a while to get to our best and all three performances have been good. Not outstanding but good, they have been solid.

“There were a lot of positives to take away from that game and on a different day, we defend better and win that 1-0. We played some really good stuff and got in some very good positions.

“The boys did well, it’s a tough place to come and while we didn’t quite do enough to win it, we definitely shouldn’t have lost.”

Alex Fisher joined the Exiles ahead of the trip to Nottinghamshire and was sent on with 24 minutes left for his first County appearance.

The former Exeter City striker has penned a one-year deal with the club and Flynn believes he offers another physical presence up front.

“He’s been training with us for a while and brings a link from the midfielders to strikers,” said Flynn.

“He holds the ball up extremely well, his movement is very good and gives us a different dimension.

“He is hungry and wants to do well, so I am looking forward to working with him. He is very experienced and gives us that option when we put crosses in the box because his movement is so good.”

The Exiles now have six days to recover before the visit to Tranmere Rovers after the fixture against Northampton Town, which was scheduled for Tuesday, was pushed back until September as the Rodney Parade pitch work reaches its conclusion.

Flynn added: “We have got a lot of work to do on the training pitch and we need to rest up as well for another tough away game at Tranmere.”

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