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James Rowberry: "It's a nine-game season now"

18 March 2022

Newport County gaffer James Rowberry has again urged his team to stay in the moment as the Exiles approach the final stages of the season.

County host Hartlepool tonight at 19:45 with Newport now only having nine games of the campaign remaining.

Newport are currently 3rd in League Two with only goal difference seperating them and Tranmere who are 4th and therefore outside the automatic promotion places as it stands.

The promotion race is incredibly tight in the division with only six points being the difference between 2nd and 8th (outside the play-offs) going into the weekend's games. 

Boss Rowberry is not thinking about promotion in either form, with the gaffer again insisting on the 'next-game mentality'.

"They're cliches and I'll keep rolling them out because I mean them - it's next-game mentality and it is staying in the moment to keep doing what we need to do to try and progress forward," Rowberry said.

It's been a strenuous week for County with Hartlepool tonight being the club's third game in six days, with the arduous trip to Carlisle sandwiched in the middle on Tuesday night. Rowberry won't let that come into play, however, with his team preparing as best they can for the quick turnaround in matches.

"We were off [Wednesday] because we didn't get back [from Carlisle] until 4am, we [were] in [Thursday], we'll train and prepare for the game as we always do, I'm not going to use the travelling as an excuse, we've just got to keep preparing like we always do as best we can within the resources we've got and I think we do that well."

County will be able to welcome back Robbie Willmott from injury, Ollie Cooper has been labelled "50/50" while Jake Cain and James Clarke have been labelled "touch and go". 

Given that it's a game under the lights, the Exiles will also have the pre-match light, flamethrowers and fireworks show that had its debut in the 1-1 draw against league leaders Forest Green which saw Finn Azaz give Newport the lead after two minutes.

"The atmosphere adds to everything we do. It gives the players, me and my staff a lift. I hope we can get close to 5,000 on [Friday] night, the supporters are our 12th man, I'm one of them, I know what it means to this city when the football team's doing well. We need everybody behind us to keep progressing forward," Rowberry added.

"A Friday night is a quick turnaround for us from Tuesday but we can't look at league tables, we need to get our performance right against Hartlepool. All we can do is focus on us and go game-to-game. It's a nine-game season now.

"All I ask of the lads is to give their maximum effort, if we give our maximum effort then at least we can turn round at the end of the season and say we gave it our all, no matter what happens.

"I take full responsibility then for everything that goes on and the lads take credit for the great work they're doing at it the minute along with the rest of my staff who have been tremendous."


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