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Graham Coughlan | “We stood up to the atmosphere..."

20 January 2024

Club News

Graham Coughlan | “We stood up to the atmosphere..."

20 January 2024

Manager Graham Coughlan was left delighted after his side defeated Wrexham AFC 1-0 in the Welsh Derby on Saturday afternoon.

Seb Palmer-Houlden’s first-half header was enough to seal a memorable victory for the Exiles at Rodney Parade. 

“Today was all about a derby game,” began Coughlan. 

“When you play games like this it’s all about winning. It doesn’t matter how you get over the line it’s just about getting the win.

“I thought the lads were brilliant, we were more than a match to them. It was really pleasing from our point of view, Nick didn’t have to make too many saves and their goalkeeper had to make some really important ones, so the margin of the victory could have been bigger.

“In all honesty, I did see a shade of the Eatsleigh game all over again towards the end. The dominance, the chances and everything that came with that one. Seb scored a wonderful goal in the first half and he also had a great one-on-one chance later on. 

“We were up against a top, top team today in Wrexham and they are up there for a reason. Phil has put a really good team together who can challenge at the top. 

“We were good and I hope the ten men and the sending-off doesn’t overshadow the performance. Our performance was good all around and the atmosphere was always going to be electric. 

“We stood up to the atmosphere, kept our discipline and I’m really pleased by the way we kept our composure in the electric atmosphere. It was really enjoyable for us and the fans” 

The Exiles return to action next weekend as they welcome Premier League giants Manchester United at Rodney Parade. 

And Coughlan says it’s going to be another memorable occasion for the club. 

“The atmosphere was red hot, noisy and intense today, and it will be the same next weekend, “added Coughlan. 

“It’s a brilliant tie and great for the football club. They’re one of the biggest teams in the world and have some world-class players in their squad. It’s going to be a great test for us and a great event to look forward to. 

“We were good today and why can’t we keep this going against Manchester United? We’ve just got to keep going and see where it takes us." 

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