Tony James has faith in his teammates
EBBSFLEET v COUNTY (Today, KO 3pm)
TONY James has won promotion from the Conference twice before and he’s convinced he can make it a hat-trick with Newport this season.
The 34-year-old went up with Hereford in 2006 and Burton in 2009 and after Tuesday’s thrilling 3-2 win at his former home of Edgar Street he insists County have every chance of a return to the Football League.
“I would say the players at Newport this season are better than the players Burton had when they won the league,” said James, who will be at the heart of the defence today.
“The division changes, it’s a strong league with some big teams in it and every year it gets harder. I don’t think many of us expected to be where we are at the start of the season but we’ve worked incredibly hard.
“We’ve got great players and we seem to be gelling now,” he added.
“Coming towards the end of the season though it’s not about how we play, it’s about getting the points on the board. There’s a lot of teams involved this year. There are probably five teams all in with a great chance of going up and unfortunately three of them are going to miss out.
“We’re full of confidence at the moment and if we keep playing like we have been away from home we should be there or thereabouts.”
James enjoyed his return to face the Bulls, even if conceding three penalties wasn’t what he had in mind beforehand. “You couldn’t have written that script, it was a real crazy turn of events,” he said.
“It was a fantastic game with a big crowd and a great atmosphere.
“We knew it was going to be a hard game but we went there and did a job, even if we made it difficult for ourselves. The first was a pen I think, the second there was a push on David Pipe before the handball and the third he was very close when it hit his hand so we were a bit unlucky but we didn’t crumble.
“We kept going and it was a cracking finish from Robbie Willmott to win it and seal a cracking three points away from home.”
Tuesday’s journey was a short one for James as he still lives in Hereford but he and the rest of Justin Edinburgh’s squad face a punishing schedule over the nest few days with a trip to Hartlepool to face Gateshead on Monday.