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Interviews

PRE-MATCH | Michael Flynn: "There are no excuses now"

5 March 2021

Manager Michael Flynn has welcomed the EFL's decision to allow Newport County AFC to play two of their upcoming home games away from Rodney Parade.

The Exiles were granted dispensation to play two fixtures at the Cardiff City Stadium to give the Rodney Parade pitch a chance to recover ahead of County's remaining games of the campaign. 

The maintenance of the surface has become more difficult in an unprecedented season for County and Dragons Rugby, with fixture pile-ups also taking a strain on the pitch this term. 

County's Sky Bet League Two games against Bradford City on Tuesday 9th March and Leyton Orient 11 days later will now take place at the Cardiff City Stadium.

And Flynn praised the EFL for giving the Exiles the green-light to play both fixtures in the Welsh capital.

"First and foremost it's a big boost," said Flynn.

"However much you try to dress it up, going out to play on a surface that we've been playing on is demoralising because of the way we want to play.

"There are no excuses now playing on a surface like that because it's in perfect condition.

"I want to thank Mark Jones at the Dragons who has been very understanding, Cardiff City for allowing it to happen and the EFL for allowing it to go ahead because of the unforeseen circumstances.

"They all need a big thank you on behalf of us for that because the right thing has happened."

Flynn's men sit a point adrift of the play-off spots in eighth after enduring a difficult run of form since the turn of the year, although they have a game in hand over sixth-placed Bolton Wanderers and Morecambe, who are three places ahead of Flynn's side.

And the Exiles boss believes the change of venue for the upcoming home games will give his players a new lease of life in their bid to reach the top seven this season.

"I rang one or two of them because it hadn't quite been released then," added Flynn.

"They're all talking about it today and they're excited, but I've dropped in a little reminder that it's good but it takes excuses away."

County have a trip to the JobServe Stadium to take on Colchester United this weekend before the first fixture in Cardiff against Bradford on Tuesday.

The U's earned their first victory in 14 games against promotion-chasing Carlisle United in midweek and will be looking to steer themselves further away from the relegation zone this weekend.

"Colchester have got their first win in a while so they will have confidence," said Flynn.

"I’m concentrating on tomorrow because it’s a tough place to go and they shouldn’t be where they are.

"They’ve got players who would get into most teams in League Two. Let’s get the win tomorrow and then I’ll prepare for Tuesday night."


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