Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Interviews

PRE-MATCH | Michael Flynn: "We almost need a finish now like the Great Escape"

12 March 2021

Manager Michael Flynn has called on his players to replicate Newport County AFC's finish to the Great Escape campaign in their bid to secure promotion.

County were staring relegation to the National League in the face after sitting 11 points adrift of safety with 12 games left prior to Flynn's appointment as caretaker boss in the 2016-17 campaign.

The Exiles boss completed a miracle to guide County to 22 points from their remaining games, with Mark O'Brien's 89th-minute winner against Notts County on the final day ensuring their Football League status was secured.

Flynn's men are at almost a polar opposite position in the Sky Bet League Two table this season and sit right in the hunt for promotion in the play-off places.

But Flynn wants his side to display the same battling qualities in the Sky Bet League Two run-in this term as they did four years ago.

"It's going to be a long eight weeks with all the games," said Flynn.

"And we almost need a finish now like the Great Escape one. You look at it, if we get 22 points from 12 games, which we had then, that gives us 76. That will surely put us somewhere close to it.

"It's a crazy season for a number of reasons and it goes back to the Great Escape, that was a bizarre season as well because of the way we stayed up and how we managed to do it.

"It was unheard of really. There are not many who have done that in the history of English football.

"For me, it's strange, but promotion is a lot more important because we have moved on."

County ended a difficult run of form by sealing back-to-back victories against Colchester United in their last two outings - the first time they had managed to achieve the feat since December 8.

Flynn's side will now have the chance to stretch their winning streak to three games when they travel to fifth-placed Morecambe, who sit one place above them in the table, on Saturday afternoon.

"We’ve improved leaps and bounds on and off the pitch but that doesn’t mean we’ve got any given right to turn up and be given three points," added Flynn.

"It's going to be an extremely difficult game against a Morecambe team who are absolutely flying. As I said, Derek has done a fantastic job there and I can't be any more complimentary about how well they've done."

The race for promotion to Sky Bet League One is still wide open ahead of the run-in, with County sitting five points adrift of league leaders Cheltenham Town with 13 games remaining.

While 12th-placed Bradford City are within seven points of reaching the play-off places. 

"Anybody from 12th or 13th upwards has a shout," Flynn said.

"Even the top three is not beyond most of them, it only takes a good run of form like Harrogate, Bolton or Bradford had.

"They were all struggling and now they've shot up the table. Fair play to them, but I just wish we'd had their form because we'd be promoted by now!"


Advertisement block