Graham Coughlan |

Manager Graham Coughlan was left satisfied with a point after his side claimed a 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra at Rodney Parade on Friday night.

“If I’m being honest, I think a draw was probably a fair result,” said Coughlan. 

“I think you probably looked at two tired teams, who lacked that little bit of energy and intensity in their play. I think that may be the direct consequence of the amount of games we’ve both played over the last few days.

“It’s a tough period and it always is for sides.  I said to the lads at half-time it’s the ones that roll their sleeves up and keep going that will come out on top.

“It wasn’t the greatest of games in all honesty, and I think in my opinion both teams looked flat. Saying that, we had a little bit of play, we didn’t create an awful lot or make the goalkeeper work, we did put them under some pressure and they stood up to it. They defended their box well and we had one or two little moments. 

“I think both teams will take a point. Of course, I wanted to win the game and build on the win on Boxing Day. It’s disappointing that we haven’t won the game but I don’t think either side did just enough to edge it in the end.

“We play with a high intensity and we play on the front foot but we just didn’t seem to have that tonight. Anybody who has seen us play over the season will tell you that. It’s a very big trait of Will [Evans], Harry Charsley and Seb’s [Palmer-Houlden] game. You could see that we looked a little bit drained tonight in the end"

After picking up four points from their last two home league outings, the Exiles open up their New Year schedule with a trip to Sutton United on Monday. And Coughlan has stated that his side must be ready to go again ahead of their fixture at Gander Green Lane. 

“The English football league calendar is a real tough ask, especially during the Christmas period,” added Coughlan. 

“Experience tells me that you’ve got to get refreshed as quickly as possible and be ready for the next challenge. We’ve got to roll our sleeves up and dig deep during this period, both as a squad, and collectively, and I’m sure the boys will do that because they’re a great group.

“A good return over Christmas would have been to win all the games. Unfortunately, that’s not possible now. That’s how I’m built, that’s how I’ve been brought up, but if we can go to Sutton and win it would maybe put a grin on my face rather than a smile.”

Omar Bogle was absent during Friday’s clash and the Exiles boss provided an update on his striker’s injury.

He finished: “We lost Omar through injury. 

“He picked up a little injury in training yesterday, so we’ll have to wait for the extent of that. It’s a bit of a muscular injury and we will have to wait over the next 24-48 hours now to hear more.” Concluded the Gaffer.