Justin Edinburgh won't be adding to squad anytime soon
THE injuries keep coming for Newport County AFC but manager Justin Edinburgh admits that there is little chance of him adding to his small squad any time soon.
The Exiles boss saw his side deservedly beat local rivals Bristol Rovers 1-0 at Rodney Parade on Saturday with Andy Sandell’s 42nd minute penalty enough to sink the Pirates.
The win was marked by the return of goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley in place of teenager Jamie Stephens but Edinburgh revealed that Christian Jolley, who was upended by Rovers skipper Tom Parkes for the penalty, is struggling with a groin problem.
Mike Flynn, who made a late appearance off the bench on Saturday, is also nursing a stiff back and Max Porter is lacking match fitness.
Last season’s top scorer Aaron O’Connor (groin) is still weeks away from a return and defenders Tony James (hamstring) and Ismail Yakubu (calf) were both missing on Saturday.
Edinburgh has been able to name only six of the permitted seven substitutes so far this season but it appears that Tom Naylor will be the last arrival at Rodney Parade for the time being.
“We’ve got more injuries than anyone else – we haven’t been able to fill our quota of subs all season so far,” said Edinburgh.
“Christian was quiet, he’s struggling with a groin strain, but he showed good footwork for the penalty.
“We’re going to manage it. He’s not up to speed as we’d like but we’ve got to try and nurse him through and get our squad up to full fitness.
“Maybe we might be able to bring him out of the firing line soon but we won’t be bringing anyone else in at the moment.
“We’re up to our full budget now but we should have Tony James back in training on Monday and Ismail Yakubu won’t be too far behind.
“Michael Flynn came back today and hopefully Aaron O’Connor will be back soon as well.
“He has a course of injections to help the injury on Monday and we hope he’ll be back in two weeks.”
County could free up some money by releasing third choice ‘keeper James Bittner who is on a one-month contract but Edinburgh is keen to keep the former Hereford United man.
“James and I will have to discuss that but I think we might have to keep him around,” he said.
“We were obviously boosted by the return of Lenny Pidgeley,” he added.
“It was a tough decision. We mustn’t forget what Jamie has done and the good start we made with him in goal but the experience that Lenny gives us in a big game like that was what tipped it in his favour.
“Sometimes you get lucky in those calls and that was the case for me. Everything he did was neat and tidy and the whole squad was buoyed by his return.”
Edinburgh was also impressed by the impact of substitute Conor Washington.
“Conor is progressing really well and I’m delighted for him,” he said.
“He came on and gave us fresh legs, got himself in good positions and was unlucky not to score.
“The two boys up front have done ever so well but we know we’ve got a lot of good strikers here and every one of them players feels they should be in the team.”
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