Graham Coughlan | "

Newport County manager Graham Coughlan says he and his side are anticipating a tough test when Eastleigh visit Rodney Parade tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

The Emirates FA Cup returns for the Exiles as they look to book their place in the fourth round of the competition for the first time since 2018 where they faced off against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

And after picking up four points from a possible 12 over the festive period, Coughlan believes tomorrow’s tie is a big opportunity for his players as he aims to build more momentum as a team.

“It’s going to be a real tough game but a test we’re all looking forward to as a club," he said during his pre-match press conference. 

“Every challenge is different and every challenge is there to be met but it is going to be a really difficult one for us tomorrow. It will be a great occasion, nevertheless. Newport County are in the third round of the FA Cup and it's something that we and the supporters should be proud of. 

“Eastleigh are a strong proposition. They have got the top marksmen in the National League and he was a player I tried to bring to Southend when he was a young kid at West Ham, so that’s a real positive for him.

"They are a free-scoring side who score at will. They flood balls into the box and have a real technician in Chris Maguire who’s been at Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland so he carries real pedigree.

“They’ve got some really good players, they’re a threat at set-pieces and they are a real dangerous team. They’ve got a lot of football league experience and they always ask questions of you, so we’re expecting a difficult prospect.

“It should be a test for both teams. We’ve had that stern test in the early rounds against Oldham and Barnet so we should be experienced enough now to know what’s coming and our fans will know how tough it will be tomorrow.

“There's a little bit of a buzz around the place right now. On the back of our recent form, the potential of a little FA Cup run and with the takeover and everything, bring that all together and it’s a real positive time at the football club.” 

Over the festive period, the Exiles have been hit by several injuries and illnesses and Coughlan provided an update on his squad ahead of the FA Cup clash in South Wales. 

“I think we’ve come through the Sutton game well and it will probably be the same people involved from the Sutton game on Monday," he added. 

“We may have one addition back to us in the squad but that will be checked this morning in training, but other than that we going into tomorrow with the same squad, fresh and ready for the challenge.”

You can watch Graham Coughlan’s pre-match press conference HERE. 

Secure your ticket(s) for tomorrow afternoon's third round clash HERE.