NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh will have a first of the season tonight... a decision of who to leave out of his match day squad.
The Exiles face AFC Wimbledon tonight at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.45pm) subject to the pitch passing an inspection.
If the game goes ahead, which Newport officials are hopeful it will, then Edinburgh is set for unfamiliar territory.
Newport have only been able to name their full complement of players (including seven subs) a handful of times this season and Edinburgh hasn’t once had more players than available slots in the match day 18.
However, with Chris Zebroski, Aaron O’Connor and goalkeeping duo Lenny Pidgeley and Jamie Stephens the only men remaining in the County treatment room, Edinburgh admits he’s in unchartered territory.
“Unless anyway drops out late doors, we go into the game with a squad of 19 players and this is the first time in the whole season I’ve had so many available,” he explained.
“I think we are probably as strong now, even with the goalkeeping situation, as we have been all season.
“It’s going to be interesting having to leave someone out, I’m not sure if we can remember how to do it!”
Ismail Yakubu, Harry Worley, Danny Crow, Lee Minshull and Max Porter are all vying for starts and broken leg victim Byron Anthony is also available.
However, Edinburgh is just as concerned with inspiring Newport’s 12th man, the Rodney Parade faithful, who he believes holds the key to the remainder of the campaign.
“Nearly 75% of our games are at home now and the crowd have a huge part to play,” he said.
“They make it very easy for us to play our game and are very supportive, but we need even more from them in the coming weeks.
“Simply put, when they are in their best voice, Rodney Parade is a very intimidating place to come for away sides.
“And if we are going to put this season right and improve on the last few weeks, that support will be invaluable to us.”