NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh has heaped praise on his squad for coping with a horrific injury list and a host of postponements and still staying in the hunt for promotion, writes Andrew Penman.
County have taken everything Lady Luck and Mother Nature can throw at them this season but after Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Oxford United they are just six points off the play-offs with three games in hand.
And Edinburgh couldn’t be prouder of his players after a difficult few months.
“I don’t care who you are; if you’ve got to go and play nine of your last 11 games away from home you’ll struggle,” he said.
“Anyone at any level in the world wouldn’t have been able to deal with what we’ve had to deal with so that’s testament to my players.
“We’ve been hit hard by injuries this season as well but we’ve dealt with it and got on with it and now we’re getting our squad back together at the right time.
“We’re in a good position now and it certainly looks a lot healthier than it did when we were travelling home from Hartlepool on Saturday.
“We’ve got four home games to come now and we’ve got to capitalise on that,” he added.
“Nobody fancies coming to Newport. They haven’t all season. Our home record is fantastic.”
Edinburgh was delighted with all his players on Tuesday but reserved special praise for Byron Anthony and Chris Zebroski who both returned from long-term injuries.
Byron and Chris looked like they hadn’t been away,” said the Exiles boss.
“They were outstanding, along with the other nine players out there.
“The three in midfield bossed the game and the front two worked their socks off and as a manager that really does please you. I thought the link up play between them really looked promising.
“Special praise has to go to Zebroski and Byron because they’ve been out for so long and they’ve put a lot of hard work in to enable them to come back in and hit the ground running.
“The squad is strong now,” he added. “I had to leave players like Michael Flynn out. He wasn’t even on the bench.
“But we need to keep everyone fit because we’re going to need everyone in the squad to deal with the amount of games we’ve got over the next few months.”