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Graham Coughlan | "I thought the whole group were magnificent..."

13 January 2024

Club News

Graham Coughlan | "I thought the whole group were magnificent..."

13 January 2024

Manager Graham Coughlan hailed a 'magnificent' team effort after his Newport County side sealed a last-gasp 1-0 victory at Doncaster Rovers on Saturday afternoon in Sky Bet League Two.

With the game heading for a stalemate, substitute Seb Palmer-Houlden entered the fray and met Lewis Payne's low cross to seal a dramatic late win for County at the Eco-Power Stadium. 

“It’s a real good win,” began Coughlan.

“I didn’t enjoy the game if I’m being honest, I didn’t think there was a great deal of quality from either team today.

“Nick [Townsend] pulled off two good saves in the first half, Clarke’s goal was legit and onside, but it wasn’t a great game overall. The game looked like two tired teams that have had a busy Christmas period and had a lot of games under their belt. 

“We got the victory though, we held in there and we kept a clean sheet which is very pleasing for us. 

“In the first half, we sat off them and allowed them to drop balls in. We can’t allow that to happen, we have to play on the front foot, we have to play with a high intensity and go after teams.

“We got better in the second half and that was a squad victory in the end. The lads that come off the bench gave us a real foothold in the game and gained most of the territory late on, so it was really pleasing. 

“I think our performance levels over the course of the season have been very high. I said to the lads that sometimes you don’t have to play well in League Two and come away with a result, you just have to do the basics well and maintain a high intensity. 

“I thought the whole group, not just the boys who started, were magnificent today. They gave their all out on the pitch again which is brilliant and a testament to them. 

“The win has been a long time coming and we’re building a nice little run now and a bit of momentum, and hopefully we can keep that going into Tuesday.”

The win in South Yorkshire saw the Exiles continue their good run of form in both the league and the Emirates FA Cup, with a replay against Eastleigh to come on Tuesday night. 

And after just one defeat in eight games, Coughlan has challenged his players to keep the run going and keep on delivering high-level performances week in, week out.

“It has been a good healthy few weeks,” continued the County boss.

“The next few weeks can be memorable too, especially after what we’ve had to put with over the course of the season with injuries and decisions, so we’ve got a real opportunity to build some more momentum. 

“Today is a good start to where we want to be and it’s about building from this now.”

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