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Graham Coughlan | “It was a game of two halves..."

9 December 2023

Club News

Graham Coughlan | “It was a game of two halves..."

9 December 2023

Manager Graham Coughlan was left frustrated after his Newport County side fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

Will Evans handed the Exiles the lead midway through the first half at Prenton Park, finishing off a smart County attacking move. Keiron Morris then pegged the sides level early in the second half before a late strike from Connor Jennings saw Rovers earn maximum points in Sky Bet League Two.  

“It was a game of two halves really,” began Coughlan.

“We were very good in the first half, moved the ball well and got into some good positions. Second half, I don’t know what happened to us, we just lost our composure. 

“Having said that we had some really good opportunities second half, but we’ve got to take them. In the first half, we had a few chances too and should have at least gone into half time with two goals. We’ve just got to take our opportunities when they present themselves. 

“I don’t know whether it's a mentality thing but we seem to go one-nill up in games and all of sudden we think the game is done and sit back. That’s never been a recipe for success," he confirmed. 

“I think we’ve thrown three points away today, we had a really good opportunity to get the win. Our first-half performance was really good but we chucked it with our naivety and lack of leadership. 

“The conditions were really tough but they were for both teams. The simple matter of fact is that we looked after the ball in the first half, we played, we passed it and created numerous opportunities. Second half we just didn’t come out.”

Goalscorer Evans, who netted his 14th goal in all competitions for County this season, was replaced at half-time and Coughlan says he will have to asses his forward ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Barnet. 

“Will has picked up an ankle knock,” added Coughlan.

“We wanted him to go out there in the second half and see if he could run it off. He couldn’t carry on so he had to come off.

“He’s on fine form at the moment and he’s playing well so we did lose his presence in the second half. We'll have to assess him now ready for Tuesday's game.”

The Exiles return to action on Tuesday Night when they travel to face Barnet in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round replay (7.45pm). 

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