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Graham Coughlan | "Our discipline was key in the second half..."

26 December 2023

Club News

Graham Coughlan | "Our discipline was key in the second half..."

26 December 2023

Newport County Manager Graham Coughlan praised his side’s 'character and spirit' after they produced a second-half fightback to defeat Forest Green Rovers 4-2 on Boxing Day.

The away side took a two-goal advantage into the break thanks to an own goal from Exiles skipper Ryan Delaney before a Harry Stevens strike. Will Evans then netted a second-half brace along with strikes from Lewis Payne and Delaney to secure a dramatic turnaround in South Wales.

‘It’s a good win and the lads came through with it in the end,” said Coughlan. 

“I thought we were poor in the first half an hour in all honesty. It took us a bit of time to work the opposition out, we changed shape, and we made a change and that maybe gave the lads a kick start.

“It’s very hard at times to play at home when a team comes to us and sits in and plays direct, it can be difficult. 

“Our discipline was really key in the second half. We didn’t want to go down to ten men like them, we needed to stay cool. Especially being two-nil down, you can’t afford to lose your discipline.

“The crowd let us hear what they thought at half time, but by god were they good to us in the second half. They got behind us brilliantly and pushed us on to get the win. 

“Experience tells me in this division that sometimes you’ll be up, sometimes you’ll be down. It’s about character and desire and that’s exactly what the lads showed today.”

Adam Lewis made his long-awaited return from injury for the Exiles this afternoon, featuring as a second-half substitute.

The Liverpool loanee hasn’t played for the Coughlan’s side since 30th September and the Newport boss was delighted to see his defender back in the squad.

“It’s great to have Adam back with us, even just to have him back in and around the lads,” added Coughlan. 

“We’ll have to manage his game time. It can be really difficult in a period like this when it’s games every few days. We’ll have to manage him the same as we have with the other injured lads in the past, your Harry Charsley's, your Aaron Wildig’s, and protect them. 

“I’m delighted we got him minutes out there today and hopefully he can build those now over the next few weeks.”

Coughlan also confirmed that Aaron Wildig missed today's clash with illness.

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