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Graham Coughlan | Coughlan Previews Second Round Replay At Barnet

11 December 2023

Club News

Graham Coughlan | Coughlan Previews Second Round Replay At Barnet

11 December 2023

Newport manager Graham Coughlan shares his thoughts ahead of Newport’s clash with Barnet on Tuesday, December 12.

Barnet successfully held Newport to a 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade with a late strike from Collinge forcing the replay fixture at The Hive this coming Tuesday. Graham Coughlan was plenty complimentary of Dean Brennan’s men as they gave a fantastic account of themselves, this however didn’t come as any shock to Coughlan: “We had watched them play,” began Coughlan.

“We knew they would be good with the ball, we knew the danger of their movement with their strong calibre of players. They have been flying high in the National league so knew they’d be brimming with confidence and that’s exactly what they brought to Rodney Parade last Saturday.”

Although the result wasn’t what the Exiles would’ve wanted Coughlan labelled the encounter a ‘really good battle between two good teams’. Coughlan also pointed out that it was a good time to play Newport for Barnet after the busy schedule in the past week [Stockport, Morecambe] appeared to be catching up with the Exiles: “I think it was a good time to get [play] us actually, I think Dean [Brennan] mentioned that in his post-match press conference,” mentioned Graham. “I do think we will be fresher on Tuesday, with one or two more options so once again I’m expecting another tight, close encounter.” It won’t just be Newport that will be fancying winning the tie, Dean Brennan’s men will also believe they can go one step further this time and deal an upset Newport’s way in front of the TV cameras as Barnet continue their upwards trajectory back to League football: “We’re aware it’s going to be tough, we’re under no illusion, we know it’ll be tough. There is very little between the two teams in terms of league position, other than that as you saw last Saturday, it’s two evenly matched teams.”

Coughlan reflected on his time as a player and previous visits to Barnet in the dugouts with fond memories: “It’s good to see their [Barnet’s] development. Their previous ground was a fantastic place to go, despite the slope the pitch was great, they’ve since moved to the hive which is another fantastic place with top facilities and as a result, the pitch has come on, their playing styles have come on, their players have progressed and they have a very good manager to top it off,” confirmed Coughlan.

Heading into Tuesday, Coughlan eluded to having ‘one or two more options’ in the build-up to the game, this comes as Newport have been struck with several first team injuries in recent months. After ‘patching’ things up Coughlan is finally starting to see the return of influential players to his squad in Seb Palmer-Houlden, Harry Charsley, James Clarke etc. something that he is naturally delighted with: “We’ve had to just patch things up over recent months which has been tough, but we’re getting stronger, we’re getting bodies back, we’re getting stronger and hopefully we’ll see the fruits of our labour come Tuesday evening.”

One thing Coughlan will be looking for his side to make improvements on ahead of Tuesday is taking their chances in front of goal: “Their goalkeeper pulled off a world save to deny us in the first 20 seconds, really not sure how he kept that out. “Further into the game though we’ve gone one-on-one we’ve hit the bar, hit the post so I’d say we had the better chances we’ve just got to ensure we’re taking them come Tuesday night.”

As well as the tie being a game in a cup with high history, to add to the mounting pressure and excitement the clash has been selected for TV coverage, this will be Newport’s first time on TV since hosting Derby last season in the FA Cup second round. Coughlan was pleased that supporters who won’t be able to make the trip on Tuesday night will still be able to follow the club: “It’ll give the fans that won’t have the chance to travel the opportunity to watch us away from home. Obviously it’s great to get national exposure and for people to see all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at the football club,” he added.

Eastleigh await the winners of round two after causing an upset against League One outfit, Reading last weekend as either Newport or Barnet will host them in the third round.

 

You can watch Newport hunt their spot in round three at the Hive this Tuesday by securing your tickets HERE, alternatively if you can’t make it to North London you can watch the clash live on ITV4 and ITVX the official streaming service of ITV.


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