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James Rowberry: "We need to be a bit more clinical"

22 November 2021

County boss James Rowberry stressed the importance of his side being clinical in both boxes after Newport's narrow defeat to Swindon on Saturday but the gaffer believes his side are moving in the right direction.

Visitors Swindon snatched all three points at Rodney Parade at the weekend in a close encounter between the two promotion hopefuls, with County having the lion share of the opportunities, but Swindon's cutting edge got them their fifth away win on the bounce in League Two.

Rowberry was satisfied with the performance of his players but feels if County took their chances better, the result would have been flipped.

"It's a disappointing result in the end but I thought we did enough to get a result with the chances that we had," Rowberry began in his post-match debrief.

"As the cliche goes: both boxes change games and win games - that's where we probably need to be a little more clinical at one end and defend the two chances they had a little bit better."

County had 17 shots with 11 of those being on target while Ben Garner's Robins managed three on-target shots from their 11 attempts at the Newport goal, with Newport's xG reading 1.8 with Swindon coming in at 0.7 [Ben Mayhew].

The game was deadlocked until the 72nd minute when a Swindon corner was inadvertently turned in by Finn Azaz before Dom Telford levelled matters two minutes later. Three minutes from time though, Jack Payne struck to make it 2-1 to the away side.

With the score at 0-0, Swindon introduced 31-Cap Wales international Jonny Williams off the bench to try and get themselves in-front, something Rowberry believes shows the strength of both the away side and the league in general.

"It's a tough league and when you're able to bring a Welsh international off the bench in League Two, it shows the quality of what they've got," Rowberry continued.

"But that doesn't take away anything from the quality that we've got - I thought we had more than enough today to get something out of the game and i thought: if we hadn't have played as well as we did and created what we did, I'd be worried, but I'm not because I think the performance was there, we just need to be clinical - that's football, it's something we need to work on. We're moving in the right direction.

"I learned a lot about what we need to do in certain moments of the game. We probably didn't start the first half particularly well and then we got better and better. I thought in the second half, we've got to take our chances when we [had] the momentum. We can't show disappointment, we have to react positively and keep moving forward."

There is no let-up for Newport as tomorrow we make the trip to Sussex to take on Crawley and then our three-games-in-six-days week concludes with another away trip, Colchester, on Friday night. 


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