Lee Minshull never lost his belief in County future
LEE MINSHULL is looking forward to making up for lost time after finally earning a regular starting spot in his favoured position.
The former AFC Wimbledon midfielder was a key component in keeping the Exiles in the Conference last season before leading the line at Wembley in the FA Trophy final.
However, this term Minshull has been a more marginal figure thanks to the fine form of midfield trio Mike Flynn, Lee Evans and Max Porter.
With Porter injured and Evans departed for the bright lights of Championship football with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Minshull has seized his chance to re-establish himself as a regular.
He scored twice in County’s 3-1 win at Woking last Saturday and is adamant that he never even considered quitting the Exiles for regular game time elsewhere.
“I’ve had opportunities, not as many as I’d like but I’ve really enjoyed the last three games,” he explained. “Of course I want to be playing every week, ideally as a midfielder (Minshull has filled in up front and in defence), and sometimes being versatile is a blessing and a curse.
“It’s tough being out of the side, everyone wants to play but you weigh up all things.
“I’m in a position where I’m at a club in the top end of the division, chasing promotion and we have a close-knit squad who look forward to coming in for training every day.
“When you’re out of the side you can’t let it change your mentality because that would be damaging to the squad as a whole. Our spirit is a big part of the success.”
Minshull is determined that the Exiles get a third win on the spin against struggling Telford tomorrow, admitting that in many ways it might be beneficial for Newport to do so in an ugly manner.
“Hopefully Barrow was a turning point for us, the low point, we’ve bounced back well since then,” he said.
“I always fancy us to get a positive result and we want to hit another big run like earlier in the season.
“And if need be that can be by winning ugly.
“That’s one of the things I think some of our rivals are better at than us.
“We need to learn to win the games where a side is just happy to come and defend for 90 minutes.
“We need to be more patient at home, realise we don’t have to do everything in the first 20 minutes and I think the fans would be fine with that.
“It’s all about getting results and it’s time for us to start grinding them out when things are tight.
“As a unit we are defending better and I think we’ve made some really good signings since January, all the boys have fitted in well and that adds to our confidence.
“We are all feeling good and confident.”
- Andrew Hughes has returned to the squad following an injury lay-off and is joined for the first time by striker Rhys Griffiths.
Griffiths joined the Exiles outside the transfer window as a free agent and has now enjoyed a full week of training.
Max Porter is also back in training but isn’t in contention for tomorrow as County ease him back from injury.
Aaron O’Connor, Ben Swallow and Jake Harris are all ruled out.
“We’d like more back but we’ll be ok in the long run,” Edinburgh said.