Newport County boss James Rowberry was pleased to get a full week of training under his team’s belt ahead of the visit of Sutton United on Tuesday night.
The Exiles have gone 10 days without a game since a 1-1 draw at Colchester on November 26 and Rowberry believes the longer than usual period of time without a matchday will do both him and the squad good.
"We've had a full training week which only I think is only the second or third full training week since I've been here so that's been nice to be able to put more of my stamp on the team with my way of doing things and adding to what Wayne (Hatswell) has done so it's been a really good period of time,” Rowberry said.
The gaffer was still busy on Saturday though, as he went to watch Sutton’s game against Bristol Rovers to add to his pre-match preparation to Tuesday’s match.
“They're well-organised, very purposeful and have scored a lot of goals from set-plays and we need to be able to match that,” Rowberry said of Sutton.
“They’ll be well-organised and well-drilled. I went to see them on Saturday and I'm glad I did that as well, but we've got to focus on what we can do and how we can impose our style on the game.”
There is a blow to the County camp though as League Two top scorer Dom Telford will miss the game due to a COVID diagnosis.
“The only one we are missing is Dom Telford. Dom’s not available through illness with COVID, we’re hoping he’s back for Port Vale,” Rowberry said.
He continued: “It’s a chance for somebody else, I’m lucky that I’ve inherited a big squad. It’s an opportunity for someone to push themselves forward. We’re all pretty comfortable and relaxed with it, the most important thing for me is that Dom’s alright.
“He’s ok and it’s not affected anyone else. He has been in great form, but the team has created the chances for him – the chances will still be there, it’s a chance for someone else to take those chances. It excites me a bit because I’m sure whoever plays will step up to the plate to try and do what Dom’s been doing so I’m comfortable with that."
Tuesday will only be Rowberry’s third game at Rodney Parade with large chunks of his nearly two-month tenure being games on the road, and the boss is looking forward to being back in front of the Amber Army.
"This is my third home game and it's a chance for me, my team and my staff to show what we're trying to do and trying to progress things - it's not going to happen overnight to where we're trying to get to so I'm sure they'll be patient with me and the team in how we try and approach things.
“I keep saying to the team: we need to focus on progression, and we need to make sure our processes match our performance, and the performance matches the result. We’re going game-to-game. We’ve got four big games up to Boxing Day then we’ve got a quick turnaround after that.
"I’m not afraid to be a bit more purposeful in what we do, if we have to go into the front man a bit earlier because the pitches away from home are not great then we might have to do that, but we’ll still do it in a way that’s attractive. I’m not saying we’ll go double direct, but our style has to fit certain games."