GRAHAM COUGHLAN: “We’re doing ok but must do better.”

Ahead of Stockport on Saturday, County manager Graham Coughlan was full of praise for his players after a good start, but insists there is plenty of work still to do.

Newport have made an impressive start to life under boss Coughlan, with 5 points from a possible 9 in the league being followed up by FA Cup victory over Colchester last weekend.

The new gaffer’s only defeat so far was Tuesday’s 3-0 loss at Premier League Leicester in the Carabao Cup.

While County were huge underdogs going into that game and gave a good account of themselves at the 2016 Premier League champions, Coughlan was in no mood to celebrate any sort of defeat.

“I’m a bad loser, irrespective of opposition or competition, I’m a bad loser who doesn’t like losing,” he said.

”I work my socks off, as do the lads and when you’ve got that mentality and mindset then the results will come.

“We have a clear and distinctive way of doing things. We’re on that pathway and we’re on that road. We’re doing ok, just ok - that would be a fair assessment and we must do better.

“There’s definitely progress but we’ve got three home games on the bounce coming up and I think it would be fair to judge us after those three.”

County have won 2/2 at Rodney Parade under Coughlan’s stewardship, both coincidentally against Colchester in league and cup, but it’s a pair of away draws that also deserve credit.

Both Mansfield and Northampton are and were in the promotion-chasing pack as County drew 0-0 and 1-1 away at the two respectively.

Coughan just wants the positive results and performances to continue.

“The lads are no longer willing to lie down, they’re no longer willing to be a soft touch and they’re no longer willing to roll over.

“I’m really, really proud of them and the work they’re getting through. I’m enjoying working with them.

"I just can’t wait for Saturday/Saturday/Saturday where we can get two, three [full] weeks into them. I’m desperate for a game as well for the young lads because they’ve really excited me as well.”