James Rowberry previews Salford and provides transfer update

Newport County gaffer James Rowberry wants his team to impose themselves onto Salford when they come to Rodney Parade on Saturday.

County will be aiming to get back to winning ways after a dramatic 3-3 draw at Walsall on New Years Day while Salford's last match game way back on December 18, a 1-0 win over Stevenage. 

While Newport will have to deal with behind closed doors football again due to COVID restrictions and while that is a blow, Rowberry is confident that it won't affect his players too much. 

"For me, Rodney Parade is a fortress – in a sense of how our fans support us, get behind us and help us. Will it have an effect? Will it help the opposition? Of course, it will. But it’s how we counteract that through our experiences and my experiences of that with Cardiff as well," Rowberry said.

"It will be tough without fans, but we have to create our own atmosphere and we’ll know all our fans will be supporting us from afar and watching it on iFollow.

"We haven’t got our fans but what we have got is a top-quality pitch, we will be able to enforce our game on the opposition. We want fans back quickly and we’re desperate for it as a football club but on the flipside: I want it to be safe and for everyone to be in an environment that’s safe to come and see us.

On Salford, Rowberry said: "We’ve got to impose ourselves on the game, show what we can do with the ball, but also then affect the opposition when we haven’t got the ball – to press them, get after them and win the ball back as high up the pitch as possible.

"They’ve scored a lot of goals from set plays so we need to be mindful of that. What they have got is their wingers and 10s is they’re good ball carriers, and they’ve got a strong target man upfront and good in transition. We need to concentrate on us and what we do."

County no fresh injury concerns, with Priestley Farquharson returning to the matchday squad at Walsall while Mickey Demetriou and Joe Day are available again following the completion of their COVID isolation period. 

Now that the January transfer window, naturally attention has turned to new faces coming into the fold at Rodney Parade, with Rowberry revealing he intends to bring in three new faces this month.

Three players have departed in recent weeks, a strategy of Rowberry's since he arrived in October of trying to trim down a big squad.

"When I first came into the job, I said we’ve got a big squad. I spoke to the board when I came in and that it’s something I can reduce. There will be more outs along the way and it’s something that I wanted to do, it’s something that I pushed for," Rowberry said.

"Also then it gives us a chance to bring in two or three to add a different dimension to us. Some development players will go out on loan but they will still train with us so we can develop them as well.

"It's all my decision to trim the squad down, I’ve had no pressure from the board to do that, the club is in a very good position," Rowberry re-iterated. 

With regards to arrivals, Rowberry said: "I’m hoping to get ins tied up this week, I’m hoping that I’ve got two imminent that will come in soon and then our third one will be later on in the window. Three is the target, if it ends up being two, it ends up being two.

"I can’t get into [positions] but I want to cover all areas of the pitch. I’m looking at potential loans and potential permanents."