MIKE FLYNN SAYS: My week of frustration
7:00am Saturday 23rd March 2013 in Sport
IT’S a case of good news and bad news as I write this column, following perhaps the most frustrating week I’ve endured as a Newport County player.
Firstly the good news and I’m very pleased to annou-nce that the injury that forced me off on Tuesday night against Kidderminster isn’t as bad as first feared.
When I talked to the Argus reporters after the game I was pretty upset because as players we feel we know our bodies better than anyone and I was certain I’d done something serious.
I’ve never been a player who particularly gets muscle injuries and when I felt something go around my groin I feared I was looking at weeks out or even worse, the remainder of the season.
It’s a sore one but I’ve been to the hospital and had my scan and it’s a grade one abductor injury and that’s the best possible diagnosis.
That probably means I’m on the sidelines for around a week to ten days and I can’t express enough how much worse I feared it would be.
It was a strange injury really because I didn’t slip or anything like that, I just pushed off and felt it go.
You could argue that our schedule means injuries are going to be inevitable but this is all the more frustrating because it has happened right at the beginning of our arduous run.
I’ll get to that and tell you how the players truly feel about the farce that is the Conference scheduling, but first a word on Tuesday and the utter frustration of the Kidderminster defeat.
I watched the game from the room the lads use to play table tennis above the dressing rooms and it became a private torture, enduring such frustration as the lads played brilliantly with absolutely nothing to show for it.
Even the Kidderminster players were tweeting after the game that we battered them and it was just horrible to watch us create chance after chance but fail to make that dominance pay.
They nicked it by scoring with virtually their only chances and you have to also credit their goalkeeper because he made save after save to keep them in it.
The players were very, very down in the dressing room afterwards and I couldn’t blame them because on a difficult night to play good football they gave it absolutely everything they had.
The trick now is to move on quickly and we’d have liked to have had the chance to do that against Gateshead on Thursday. In case you’ve been living in a cave, that’s the fourth time we’ve been unable to go there for a game and it’s got well beyond a farce now.
Can you imagine this happening in the Football League? It wouldn’t, simple as that. If it happened in League Two it would be a scandal and you’d have people up in arms about it.
How can it be right for a team fighting for automatic promotion to have to play 11 games in a month? How can it be right for a (with due respect) smaller, part-time team like Braintree to be asked to play a quarter of a season in a month! It’s absolutely nuts.
As players we accept the situation with a lot of games but you’ve got to say the Gateshead situation is different, it’s a joke. Every postponed date we’ve had against them is a day where we could’ve and should’ve been playing someone else.
As players you normally stay away from the politics and behind the scenes stuff at clubs but we’re angry as a dressing room for everyone involved.
We feel bad for the people who put money into the club who have lost out (I can’t imagine how much) in travel costs and hotel costs and we, of course, feel even worse for our brilliant fans who will also probably find themselves out of pocket.
Now I hear the game will be at Boston, but who knows, we never take anything for granted. I’ve more than a feeling it’s not the last we’ll hear of it.
It might be controversial, and it’s not something I like saying as a fellow professional, but in all seriousness, it’s maybe for the best if Gateshead are relegated. They’ve played at eight different grounds this season and they must be losing money hand over fist with tiny crowds and, in terms of players, who is going to want to play there next season?
I do feel really bad for their players actually, if it’s been this much of a pain for us imagine what it must be like for them.
They endure this uncertainty with every home game! Fair play to them for where they are in the division.
In my opinion it’s at the point now where we should just get the points awarded to us but, realistically, that isn’t going to happen anymore than an extension to the season is.
What we need to do with regard to the whole situation is form a siege mentality; it’s Newport against the Conference, the fixture computer, everything, and we need to let it bring the best out of us.
For me it’s frustrating that a week out could mean missing as many as four games, but we have a good squad and the quality to defy the schedule. I still believe.
Finally I just want to congratulate academy goalkeeper Matthew Swan and Josh Jones for their achievements in playing for Wales at schoolboy, under-18 level.
They both played against England and Josh scored twice in a 4-1 win and then Matthew kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win against Scotland.
It bodes well for us.