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PRE-MATCH | Michael Flynn: "There wouldn’t be a prouder man in Newport than me"

28 May 2021

Newport County AFC manager Michael Flynn says guiding his hometown club to promotion would make him the proudest man in the city.

The Exiles boss, who grew up in Pill, is preparing to lead his side to Wembley on Monday for their Sky Bet League Two play-off final against Morecambe.

It will be the second time in three seasons that Flynn’s side will compete in the final for a place in Sky Bet League One. 

County came within touching distance of securing promotion to the third tier for the first time since their return to the Football League in 2013 but suffered heartache against Tranmere Rovers two years ago.

Connor Jennings delivered the devastating blow as his header in the last minute of extra-time saw the Exiles fall short at the final hurdle.

But Flynn wants his side to put that heartache behind them as they gear up for another shot at promotion.

"Being from the area, I know too well what it means to the people," said Flynn.

"If I was the one to be able to get them to League one, there wouldn’t be a prouder man in Newport than me. 

"It means everything to me, my wife, my family and my friends. My wife has been there before with my kids and I’ve had all the tears. 

"She’s had to pick me up but she doesn’t want to feel like that again and I don’t want her feeling like that again."

The Exiles have come a long way since Flynn took the reins for the final 12 games of the 2016-17 campaign, with County sitting 11 points adrift of safety when he was appointed as caretaker boss.

Flynn completed a miracle to guide the Exiles to safety in his first season and his side have become a force to be reckoned with in cup competitions.

County have reached the Emirates FA Cup third round in four successive seasons and also sealed their place in the Carabao Cup fourth round for the first time in the club’s history this term.

And Flynn wants to add to his cup exploits by chalking up a promotion on his managerial CV.

"It’s been positive all the way and the only thing missing out of the whole lot is a promotion - that’s what we want more than anything. 

"When we there last time there were no nerves, it was a very tight encounter and we should’ve had a penalty, but we didn’t get one. 

"We conceded in the last minute of extra-time and it was nothing to do with the occasion getting the better of us. I’m confident that the boys will be fine and hopefully, in another tight game, it’ll be us that pips it.

"It’s either a carnival atmosphere or a graveyard and I know what side I want to be on."

Morecambe, who booked their place in the final after a 3-2 aggregate win over Tranmere, fell to defeat on both occasions when they met with the Exiles in the regular campaign.

County's 2-1 win at Rodney Parade was followed up by a 3-1 triumph at the Mazuma Stadium, but Flynn says the results will have no bearing on Monday's final.

Flynn said: "This is a different game now and it's a one-off cup final, so there’s no room for any mistakes because there’s no re-run. 

"I can’t double guess how they’re going to approach it. I watched their two games against Tranmere and they are an exceptionally well-disciplined team. 

"They’re very dangerous on the counter-attacks and they’ve got players who can change games. It’s going to be an interesting game and let’s hope when we get the ball in the right areas that we can take advantage of that."


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