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Interviews

REACTION | Michael Flynn: "The efforts of the groundstaff were phenomenal again"

2 January 2021

Manager Michael Flynn hailed Rodney Parade's groundstaff for their efforts in getting the pitch ready for Newport County AFC's Sky Bet League Two fixture against Southend United.

The Exiles were looking to kick off 2021 by continuing their impressive start to the campaign against the Shrimpers before the referee Paul Howard deemed that certain areas of the pitch were not safe to play on.

Rodney Parade's groundstaff had deployed frost covers in the lead up to the fixture in a bid to deal with the freezing weather conditions. 

But the decision was made by referee Howard to postpone the fixture following a second pitch inspection at 1pm, which ensured County's second game of the week was chalked off after Tuesday's clash against Exeter City also fell victim to the weather.

Flynn felt the correct decision was made by the referee to reschedule the game and praised Rodney Parade's groundstaff for their work in attempting to get the fixture played. 

"The efforts of the groundstaff were phenomenal again," said Flynn.

"They’ve put sheets on and it’s a credit to them that some of the pitch was playable.

"But there were just too many areas that were solid and the referee made a decision for the safety and wellbeing of the players, so it was the correct decision.

"First thing this morning it was off, the referee came and it was solid. The temperature was going to rise slightly and the pitch has got a lot better, but there are just too many areas where it was frozen.

"It’s not ideal for Southend but the referee has made a decision and I agree with it. I’ve seen a couple of their staff members and they realise that we wanted to give it as long as possible, they were in agreement with that.

"The referee came to have a look two or three times and it’s just unfortunate.

"There are going to be a lot of games off this weekend because of the weather conditions.”

County have been out of action since the 1-1 draw against Crawley Town on Boxing Day following the two postponements in the space of five days, which will have to rescheduled later in a hectic season.

But it will give Flynn's men additional time to prepare for next weekend's Emirates FA Cup third round clash against Brighton & Hove Albion. 

"This gives us time to prepare properly for the game against Brighton," added Flynn.

"It is what it is, we are never going to do things the easy way here, so if we have to play on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday then we will." 


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