Defender dilemma for County boss
COUNTY v WOKING (Today, KO 3pm)
NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh admits he’s torn over the issue of signing an extra defender.
Lee Minshull and Max Porter had a torrid time over two games with lowly Yate Town, who dumped County out of the FA Cup, as the Exiles suffered in the absence of three recognised defenders.
Edinburgh only has five defenders in his first team squad and he admits it’s on his mind to address that situation.
“We’ve always had a green light to bring in a defender if I feel that is what is needed and it is something I think about,” he said.
“To have lost three of the back four in one game (Andrew Hughes, Ismail Yakubu and David Pipe all injured) is something that will probably never happen again.
“If I go and bring someone in then next Saturday they could well be sitting in the stands.
“You have to legislate for that and what we also have within this group is a really tight camaraderie and togetherness. I could go and sign two defenders tomorrow but my injured defenders are days not weeks away from being fit.
“If I bring in someone on loan and he doesn’t play it’ll be like I’m being wasteful and the other club would be annoyed.
“It’s a fine line, I could strengthen and bring a player in but he might not play again this season.
“If we bring someone in it has to be for the right reasons, but I will admit I could have one more defender at the club. I just have to think long term about what effect it’ll have on the group.”
Edinburgh is looking for a response from his players after slamming the display midweek that saw them beaten 3-1 at home by lowly Yate.
“I think I’ve reflected on it and when I spoke after the game I was bitterly disappointed,” he said.
“It wasn’t even the manner of the defeat, it was the situations that happened but at the end of the day I’ve done silly things in my time as a player and I couldn’t even tell you today why I did those things.
“Defining moments changed the game, I’ve said what I have about the referee and Lenny (Pidgeley) but that’s all gone now.
“We’ve lost, it was Yate’s cup final and they beat us and the way a good team responds is by getting back to track and to winning ways.
“It’s embarrassing for us to lose to Yate but we shouldn’t take anything away from them, they’ve scored six goals against us.
“Hopefully it wounds us, because a wounded animal is fiercer and angrier.
“We should be going to Cheltenham next weekend and we aren’t. I hope that hurts the players as much as it does me.”
County welcomed back flu victim Mike Flynn to training yesterday and Hughes is fit to start.
That is likely to depend on Yakubu’s availability, he will have a late fitness test on a calf strain.
The Exiles boss will also have to consider his options in attack with Danny Crow still sidelined. Striker Aaron O’Connor is arguably the Exiles’ only in-form front man which could give Conor Washington a chance.