County set to unveil defender Tom Naylor
NEWPORT County AFC hope to sign defender Tom Naylor tomorrow to replace injury victim Byron Anthony.
Exiles manager Justin Edinburgh said after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Northampton Town that he was confident of concluding the loan deal for the centre-back on Monday.
The 22-year-old, currently with Championship club Derby County, had loan spells at Bradford City and Grimsby Town last season and played against County in the Conference play-off semi-finals.
He will arrive on a six-month loan deal while Anthony is recovering from his horrific double leg break sustained in last week’s Capital One Cup triumph at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Newport-born Anthony had an operation in Brighton on Wednesday and moved to a London rehab clinic on Saturday, where he followed his team-mates’ defeat via radio and Twitter.
Anthony was missed as the Exiles squandered several good chances before some sloppy defending and expert finishing from Jacob Blyth, Roy O’Donovan and Gary Deegan sealed their fate at Sixfields.
Sub Conor Washington grabbed a consolation goal with three minutes to go but it was a frustrating afternoon for Edinburgh, who felt his side deserved more.
“We had chances but we didn’t take them,” said the Exiles boss. “I have no problem with the performance. I’m proud of the players. I thought they were excellent.
“To come to a place like Sixfields and for long periods of time put the home team under pressure and make them play on the back foot and on the counter-attack was excellent.
“We’re disappointed. Apart from a five- or ten-minute spell when we lost our way a bit I thought we gave a good account of ourselves.
“If we continue to play like that we are going to pick up more points and we’ve certainly been harshly dealt with. We can really count ourselves unlucky to have lost the game 3-1.”
He added: “I don’t like losing and the scoreline says that we lost 3-1 and we’ve collected no points but the performance was good.
“I’m delighted with my players and I feel that they are capable of competing in this league.”
On Washington, who scored his second goal in two games after his strike at Brighton, Edinburgh said: “When Conor gets a ball at his feet and he’s running at defenders he’s a real handful and that is two goals in a week.
“That will give his confidence a good boost, not that he needs it because he’s developing as a young man and he’s got a real bright future ahead of him.”
And on the incoming defender, he added: “We’re close, but until we get pen on paper it’s not done. I’m hopeful it will be wrapped up on Monday, which we need because we’re short on defenders.”
Anthony is not expected to return until after Christmas, but fellow centre-back Tony James should be back in time for the trip to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday, August 24.
Next up for the Exiles is the highly anticipated clash with Bristol Rovers at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
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