NEWPORT County AFC midfielder Adam Chapman believes the increased competition for a place in Justin Edinburgh’s starting XI is leading to improved performances.
The former Mansfield Town and Oxford United midfield schemer was sensational for the Exiles in the Boxing Day win at Wycombe Wanderers, his pinpoint pass providing the only goal of the game for Mike Flynn.
The Exiles now look like serious promotion contenders heading into the New Year and Chapman believes the entire squad are currently on their toes.
The midfield trio of Ryan Burge, Lee Minshull and Tom Naylor were all on the bench at Adams Park and the likes of Max Porter, defender Byron Anthony and striker Aaron O’Connor are on the comeback trail from serious injuries.
And Chapman, who was promoted last term with Mansfield, believes County are getting stronger and stronger at just the right time, just like the Stags did last term.
“We are all on our toes and that’s how success is brought to a club,” he explained.
“We had a full bench on Boxing Day and a couple of lads on the way back from injury and if we can keep people fit and free from suspension, then it’s nothing but good for us, the competition is fierce and the depth of the squad is deep.
“This result helps us to push on through the Christmas period, we’d have taken four points from Wycombe and Burton and now it’d be great if we can pick up six points.
“It was the same with Mansfield last season; this was the time of year that getting on an unbeaten run really breathes extra life into you.
“Draws aren’t bad in this division, especially away from home and you can see in our performances that confidence is growing more and more.”
Chapman felt the Exiles were worthy winners at Adams Park.
“It was a very pleasing result, any point at a place like this is a good one and three even more so,” he said.
“We played really well, I thought we dictated the play and in the first half we bossed the game and then after they got a telling off in the second half they did come at us and we weren’t overly impressed with our second half performance.
“But we ground it out and got the win.”
Chapman felt he benefitted from Justin Edinburgh selecting a 3-4-3 formation with Robbie Willmott joining Christian Jolley and Conor Washington in attack.
“In the first half we started really well, our front three make the pitch so big with their pace and that helps me, I was happy with the way I performed,” he said.