NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh hinted that he could yet change his mind and offer captain Mike Flynn a new deal after the 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon.
The Exiles skipper scored from the spot to give his side a 2-0 lead at the Cherry Red Records Stadium in Kingston after Chris Zebroski’s long range opener.
The hosts battled back for a point thanks to second half strikes from Kwesi Appiah and George Francomb but Edinburgh was full of praise for hometown hero Flynn.
The 33-year-old was told earlier this season that he will not be needed for next season but has since reclaimed his place in the starting XI and the captain’s armband.
Edinburgh has previously insisted that he will stick by his decision but has Flynn done enough now to change his mind?
“He’s not doing a bad job is he? He keeps telling me as well, driving me mad,” said Edinburgh after the final whistle.
“I don’t know. He’s certainly conducted himself well and his performances have been good so you never know.”
Edinburgh was delighted to welcome back striker Aaron O’Connor for his first appearance of the season from the bench but less pleased by the way his side squandered two points.
“It was as good as we’ve been for a long while in the first half and once we got that second goal with the penalty it was a schoolboy error to concede straight away,” said the Exiles boss.
“We all know that you’re at your most vulnerable when you’ve just scored. We’ve been told that since we were eight years old but we lost concentration.
“We should have gone on to win the game comfortably but I’ve got to take the positives because, as disappointing as the second half was, we were good in the first.
“And we were delighted to see Aaron O’Connor getting half an hour,” he added.
“There’s been some dark times for him. He’s been in some bad places and had comebacks and setbacks but I’m really pleased for him and so is the whole group.”
O’Connor is unlikely to start against Burton Albion at Rodney Parade on Monday but should feature again from the bench as County look to avenge their 1-0 defeat in Burton in late December.
“I think it’ll be too early for him,” he said of O’Connor. “I think between now and the end of the season it will be a case of building his match fitness back up.
“Hopefully he’ll react well to this game and he can feature again on Monday.
“We got beat up there and that was the start of our bad run at the turn of the year,” he added. “Every game is a big game and we’ve got two home games left against teams chasing promotion so we have to give them a test.”