Strikers ready to fire again, says County skipper David Pipe

First published in Sport

NEWPORT County AFC captain David Pipe has backed the club’s strikers to end their goal drought today – if Rodney Parade avoids the flood.

The Exiles’ ground was in danger of flooding as the River Usk reached dangerously high levels yesterday.

But it has so far escaped the worst of the weather and County continue to be optimistic that the League Two clash with basement boys Northampton Town will go ahead as planned.

Pipe is keen to avenge the 3-1 defeat at Sixfields in August when Justin Edinburgh’s men missed several chances and were denied by a man of the match display from Cobblers goalkeeper Matt Duke.

“The game up there is one that sticks out as a disappointing day this season,” said the skipper.

“We were very dominant but if you don’t take your chances it will come back to bite you in the backside and it definitely did that day.”

With last season’s top scorer Aaron O’Connor and this season’s main marksman Chris Zebroski both injured, fellow front men Conor Washington, Christian Jolley and Danny Crow have scored just once between them since the middle of November.

But Pipe is in no doubt that the trio will get back to top form sooner rather than later and insisted that the rest of the team have to play their part as well.

“When we keep clean sheets it is the defenders and goalkeeper that get the praise but I always say that you defend as a team and you score as a team,” he said.

“We need to help out the strikers a bit at the moment and create more chances for them. It is always a team effort.

“All strikers go through a little patch of not scoring during a season but they are all quality players so I have no doubt that they will come good soon.”

As for the weather, Pipe is just hopeful that things improve soon and we don’t see a repeat of last season’s fixture pile-up.

“It is déjà vu from last season at the moment but hopefully it won’t be as bad as that,” said the 30-year-old former Wales international.

“It is frustrating because we want to play but we’re approaching every game as if it is on until we are told otherwise.

“As professionals we have to be 100 per cent focused. If you go into a game unprepared at this level you are going to be in trouble.

“The New Year’s Day game being off was particularly disappointing because it is always a big crowd and a different atmosphere.

“Our home fans are desperate to see us play at Rodney Parade because it has been a long time since our last home game.

“It would also have been an ideal opportunity to bounce back straight away from a poor performance at Burton,” he added.

“We were off the pace there and Burton deserved to win but hopefully we get the chance to put that right against Northampton.”

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