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Graham Coughlan | "We exit the group with our heads held high..."

14 November 2023

Club News

Graham Coughlan | "We exit the group with our heads held high..."

14 November 2023

Manager Graham Coughlan was left frustrated after his side fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers at Rodney Parade.

A first-half strike from Antony Evans was enough to see Rovers progress into the second-round stage of the EFL Trophy. 

“It was a tough for us in all honesty,” Coughlan began. 

“To have two League One sides and West Ham was tough but I thought we applied ourselves well in all the games and were very competitive. 

“We were very disappointed after the West Ham game as we don’t like losing. We’re disappointed with tonight but I thought they were the better team over the course of the game. They moved the ball well, hit the woodwork twice and Nick had to pull off a good save.

“We asked the lads to give everything tonight and they did. To get out of this group you need some decisions to go your way. Needed a break on the ball and a bit of luck too.

“I would like the end product of our play to be better, and the quality in the final third to improve. We were quite sloppy with the ball tonight, we gave it away cheaply, and our press wasn’t as it should be. However, we won the ball high up the pitch and created one or two little chances. 

“I don’t think we worked the goalkeeper enough so that’s a little bit of a concern. It’s that little bit of quality we missed in the final third on Saturday and today.

“I think we exit the group with our heads held high as we’ve made progress in the other two cup competitions." 

Both James Clarke and Seb Palmer-Houlden returned to the County fold this evening after injury and the Newport boss was left pleased to see the due return to action. 

“We got minutes into both of them which is very positive,” he added. 

“We got 25 minutes all in total for them so that’s another box ticked. We’ll hopefully build their minutes week after week trying to increase that 25 into 30/40 and beyond. It’s just about increasing the minutes at this stage."

Coughlan also gave thanks to goalkeeper, Nick Townsend for his 'tough' decision to turn down international football with his country Antigua and Barbuda.

"I'd personally like to thank Nick," he started.

"It's an honour to represent your country, not that I'd know," he laughed. "And I can imagine it's a really tough decision to make, but it's really reassuring knowing he wants to stay around and continue to help us through this challenging period."


Newport County are back in action this coming Saturday as they head to Mansfield (18 November) you can secure your ticket here.

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