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PRE-MATCH | Wayne Hatswell: "They haven’t started their best so they’ll be looking to change that"

27 August 2021

Wayne Hatswell says Newport County AFC will be putting any friendships to one side when they travel to Salford City.

The Exiles will come up against two familiar faces - Liam Shephard and Tom King - at the Peninsula Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they look to put the Carabao Cup defeat against Southampton in midweek behind them.

Shephard and King both swapped the Exiles for the Ammies in the summer window after helping County reach the Sky Bet League Two play-off final last season.

Defender Shephard turned out more than 50 times for the Exiles in his solitary season at Rodney Parade last term, while goalkeeper King enjoyed two campaigns in amber.

But Hatswell says his side won't be showing any sentiment and their full focus will be on chalking up their third league win of the campaign.

“Shephard will bring a different dynamic to what they had last year because they had predominantly a centre-back playing at right-back,” said Hatswell.

“They had a good goalkeeper in Vaclav Hladky last year and obviously he’s moved on, but they’ve got a good replacement in Tom and he did well for us last year.

“Hats off to them because they’ve got on to another club and it’ll be good to see them, but we’ll concentrate on what we can do against them and hopefully Tom is picking the ball out of his own net.”

Saturday’s trip to Greater Manchester will be the last time Hatswell takes charge of the Exiles before Michael Flynn’s return following his isolation period.

Hatswell oversaw the 1-0 away win over Tranmere Rovers last weekend before taking the reins again for the heavy defeat against Southampton at Rodney Parade.

But the assistant boss says the result against Ralph Hasenhuttl's side has been quickly put to bed ahead of their trip to the north west.

"We said after the game that it was done and dusted," said Hatswell.

"We've got to learn from it but I'm not going to do an in-depth reflection of that game. Me and the gaffer both agreed on that."

Salford are still in search of their first victory of the new campaign after earning a pair of draws against Lincoln City and Leyton Orient, before suffering back-to-back defeats against Crawley Town and Swindon Town.

"They’ve got a good squad and they’re strong in everything they do," added Hatswell.

"They haven’t started their best so they’ll be looking to change that. We’ll be looking to apply ourselves in the right manner and get a result like we did against Tranmere last week."


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