JUSTIN Edinburgh’s warning to his players that they are now performing for their futures hasn’t fallen on deaf ears, according to defender Ismail Yakubu.

The former Wimbledon man made his return for Newport in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth after featuring only three times in March, the Exiles’ busiest of the season, because of injury.

Yakubu has been a key component for the Exiles this season but after back-to-back clean sheets against Torquay and Bury, boss Edinburgh had suggested loanee Kevin Feely and short contract signing Darcy Blake would retain their places, “long-term.”

However, Blake’s suspension following his red card will mean Yakubu returns for County’s daunting trip to beaten Johnstone’s Paint Trophy finalists Chesterfield this weekend.

And he insists every Exile knows that time is running out to impress the manager.

“Now we need to finish strongly, we’ve got good players in the team and we need to play for our futures here, we understand that,” he said.

“It is in everyone’s best interests to go out there and really perform as well as we can and show that we as players want to be here.

“And we need to show that we deserve to be at this club. As a group, the team and the club needs to show we deserve to be here in the Football League more than we have done recently.”

The 28-year old was happy to get back into the action and on the scoresheet at Rodney Parade after briefly giving County hope of a comeback with a 76th minute header, but admits he’s sick and tired of making excuses after poor results.

“It was a good thing for me to be back out on the pitch and playing again, but it was another disappointing day for us,” he said.

“Obviously going down to ten men against a team really fighting for their lives made it a tough game, we gave it our all but it wasn’t to be.

“At the moment things have been going wrong for us, but we have to take responsibility for that and starting creating our own good luck.

“We’ve shown glimpses, a moment where we look like we’ll put something together, but we keep having setbacks and Saturday was one of those days going down to ten and then nine men.

“Not much was going for us, I could feel the crowd’s frustration with the referee, but I kind of feel tired about complaining about the decisions not going our way.

“It sounds like excuses, I know that, but in the last few weeks it really does feel like things haven’t been going our way at all. But that’s life in football; you have got to make the most of it.”