MIKE FLYNN SAYS: We were poor, Yate were great
7:00am Saturday 27th October 2012 in Sport
CONSIDERING this week I’ve been laid low with flu, played pretty poorly at Yate and then watched us get knocked out of the FA Cup and lose at home for the first time, you can probably see I’ve not had a great time since I last wrote my column!
That’s football, one result can really bring you back down to earth with a bump and certainly that’s how we all felt after losing to Yate.
What probably hasn’t been said enough since the game, with plenty of criticism rightly coming our way, is how well Yate played over the two games.
Let’s be fair about it, for 165 minutes of the two games they were certainly every bit a match for us, they were well set-up and they used the ball well.
I was really impressed with them and wish them lots of luck in the remainder of the competition.
However, we know we should’ve put the tie to bed at half time in the first game, we should’ve and could’ve been 5-0 up we were so dominant and we didn’t take the chances when they came.
For me, it continues a miserable career record in the FA Cup where I don’t think I’ve ever been beyond the fourth or fifth round.
I remember clearly that when I won promotion for the first time with Wigan we were knocked out the FA Cup by Stoke in the third round and back then Stoke weren’t by any means the established Premier League club Tony Pulis has made them in to.
But you always have to try to take the positives from any situation, even a negative one and for us, it’s an obvious scenario, that we are still top of the league.
Our aim, all of us, is to get Newport County back in the Football League and we are still clear at the top and if we get back to winning ways, will stay there.
We won’t make excuses for going out in the cup, everyone knows we’ve got a small squad and had defenders injured, but Hughesy (Andrew Hughes) and Ismail (Yakubu) will hopefully be back today and we’ve proved in the league we are very hard to beat at home. That must be our aim.
We are sorry for our fans we won’t have a cup run, but our job now is to keep us where we are in the league.
I saw this week a debate in the Argus about whether it is unfair that only one team gets a chance for automatic promotion to League Two and my view would be that it certainly is.
Obviously in my career I’ve been in the Football League more often than not and this season the challenge of getting out of the Conference is about as tough a challenge as I’ve faced.
There are always eight or nine Conference clubs pushing for promotion and only two spaces available whereas in League Two, four go up. That to me is crazy.
I’ll tell you another big difference as well. In the Conference there are several clubs really pushing and striving to get up, to establish themselves in the Football League and look to build from there.
That’s very different to League Two where a lot of clubs are simply happy to be there, happy to remain in the lower reaches as long as they survive season after season.
A change in the rules, allowing three teams to be promoted from the Conference, would also freshen up League Two.
And I honestly believe the impact on the city would be massive. At its best a club can give a lot back to the community – our boys were at a Show Racism the Red Card event with 100 kids on Thursday – and that kind of thing is important, establishing proper links in the city. A promotion for Newport County would be a win for the whole city, I believe that strongly.
Looking ahead to this afternoon’s game against Woking, it’s vital for us because we need to bounce back from Yate and to kick-off the weekend in the best fashion possible.
The Centenary Dinner at the Celtic Manor tonight is a significant milestone for the club and the players know the best way to get the party started is to win.
I would expect whatever happens the players will need to be on their best behaviour because we are representing the club and for me it’ll be exciting as a local boy to meet so many great names from the past.
But I can promise you some of the boys will no doubt be wearing some embarrassing suits, but I won’t name names. It’ll be obvious.