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INTERVIEW | Nicky Maynard: "Hopefully my experience will help the lads kick on and everyone will be happy come the end of the season"

3 February 2021

Nicky Maynard says he didn’t hesitate in jumping at the chance to join Newport County AFC on deadline day, despite attracting interest from elsewhere.

The striker sealed a deadline day loan switch to the Exiles from Sky Bet League Two rivals Mansfield Town on Monday.

Maynard has been limited to opportunities at the One Call Stadium this season having made the starting line-up on 11 occasions for the Stags.

He had fallen down the pecking order under Nigel Clough and was given permission to look elsewhere in a bid to regular football for the rest of the season, which manager Michael Flynn offered to him.

Maynard revealed he received offers from other clubs in the Football League, but chose Rodney Parade as his destination after holding positive talks with Flynn.

"He [Michael Flynn] told me about how he saw me fitting into the team and how I could enhance the team’s chances of promotion,” said Maynard. 

"He made me feel wanted and, at the stage of my career, I want to be at a team that wants me. Hopefully I can fulfil my promises and do well for the team. 

"He has told me to come in, enjoy myself and just do what I’ve been doing throughout my career, which is scoring goals. Hopefully my experience will help the lads kick on and everyone will be happy come the end of the season.”

The 34-year-old brings a wealth of Football League experience to the Exiles having earned three promotions - with West Ham, Cardiff City and Bury - over the course of his career. He helped guide the latter to Sky Bet League One two seasons ago and is well aware of the ups and downs that promotions side go through during a campaign.

County are currently experiencing a sticky patch of form with their last win coming against Grimsby Town in December, and Maynard’s first priority will be to help Flynn’s side get back on track.

"It’s very unlikely that a team will go throughout the whole season without a bad run of form. 

"Newport have started well and gone through a little bit of a bad patch, but you have to be determined and keep working hard to put it right. 

"When you get that win, that’s the momentum changer and that’s the way football is. The main thing is nobody dwells on defeats - you have to look to improve and move on.

"From my take on it, it’s not going to be long until we turn this bad run into a good run and go further up the league."

It was a race against the deadline to get Maynard’s signature over the line, with his medical taking place with Newport County AFC’s senior physiotherapist Tom Gittoes less than an hour before the window slammed shut at 11pm. 

But the paperwork was submitted on time and the striker took part in his first training session - alongside a few familiar faces - with the Exiles on Tuesday morning.

"It was a very enjoyable session" added Maynard.

"It was a disappointing result on Saturday, but everyone’s come in a good mood and they’re determined to put this bad run to an end. 

"Ashley [Baker] was young when I was at Cardiff, but he was always someone who had that potential. It’s the first time that I’ve seen him in a while, but he’s very good and composed on the ball.

"I get on really well with Dom [Telford] on and off the pitch, so hopefully we can show that in the upcoming games. Jack [Evans] was on loan at Mansfield last year too and I got to see him in training. The lads have made me feel welcome but it’s not a daunting task to come to a new club because I’ve been in the game long enough.

"Everyone wearing the Newport County AFC training top or match shirt all want the same thing at the end of the season."

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