Exiles squad is complete - Edinburgh
NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh is convinced that his squad is strong enough to win promotion after the closure of the January transfer window.
Blue Square Bet Premier clubs can bring in players on loan from next week but Edinburgh insists he is not currently on the lookout for new recruits.
County return to action after three weeks without a game when they host Tamworth at Rodney Parade tomorrow.
Top scorer Aaron O’Connor is still sidelined by the torn thigh muscle he picked up in the defeat to Barrow on January 19 -– the last time the Exiles’ kicked a ball.
Fellow striker Ryan Charles was released this week so he could pursue first team football elsewhere and Michael Smith returned to parent club Charlton Athletic last month.
But Edinburgh is happy with his options up front for today’s match with Danny Crow, Conor Washington and Jake Harris all battling to replace O’Connor and play alongside January signings Christian Jolley and Robbie Willmott.
“The squad is in good shape,” said the Exiles boss.
“I don’t think we’ll be looking to add anyone at the moment. I didn’t think there was anything out there that was right for us (on deadline day) but things change from week to week in football.
“Ryan wanted to play football and I commend the boy for that,” he added. “He could quite easily have sat here and seen his contract out but he hasn’t and I think that’s refreshing.
“It hasn’t worked out for him here and Ryan probably feels he hasn’t had a fair crack here but that’s football and we wish him all the best.”
County did bring in two midfielders on deadline day last Thursday with Will Evans signing on loan from Hereford United and Scott Donnelly arriving on a short-term contract from Farnborough after Lee Evans was snapped up by Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“With Lee leaving and Max Porter injured I felt we were a little bit light in that area,” explained Edinburgh, who also has Jake Thomson back from his loan at Lincoln City.
“Scotty is something we haven’t had up to now – a goal-scoring midfielder.
“He probably feels he shouldn’t be at this level but we’ve given him an opportunity to showcase himself between now and the end of the season and earn a longer contract here or somewhere else.
“Will is a holding midfield player or centre-half so he gives us good options and Jake is back as well so we’ve got plenty of competition in midfield now.
“We spoke with Lincoln and for one reason and another the deal couldn’t be done (to extend his loan) so he’s been back with us since Monday and his attitude has been good.
“He has to work hard to get back in the squad. We know what he’s capable of but it’s how you apply yourself and he’s looked fresh and trained well this week.”
As well as O’Connor and Porter, defender Andrew Hughes (groin) will also miss tomorrow’s match.