NEWPORT County AFC star Andy Sandell admits he has to shoulder some of the blame for defeat to Northampton Town last time out at Rodney Parade and he wants to make up for that today.
The versatile defender saw his 88th minute penalty saved by outstanding Cobblers goalkeeper Matt Duke as County went down to a shock 2-1 home defeat to the relegation strugglers on January 4.
If this afternoon’s clash with Dagenham & Redbridge survives an early morning pitch inspection Sandell is determined to banish memories of that spot-kick by helping the Exiles to a first win since Boxing Day.
“I take my responsibilities for the Northampton game obviously,” said the 30-year-old, who is set to cede penalty duties to teammate Robbie Willmott.
“If the gaffer wants me to take them again I’ll be happy to. It doesn’t bother me.
“Matt Duke is one of the best ‘keepers in the league. Over the 180 minutes we played against him this season he was unbelievable and he made a great save.
“It wasn’t a bad penalty but you see it up and down the country and all over the globe; people miss penalties.
“A lot of people don’t have the balls to take them,” he added. “So we’ll see what Robbie’s got when it’s his turn!”
With 13 home games remaining in League Two, compared to nine away games, Sandell says it is important that Rodney Parade continues to be a fortress.
“We’re decent at home when the crowd gets behind us and teams are not going to look forward to coming to Rodney Parade,” he said.
“But we need to get back to winning ways and put in a good performance against Dagenham & Redbridge.
“They play a little bit differently from how they used to and they’re on a bit of a bad run at the moment so hopefully we can carry on their run and take three points.
“I thought we dominated the game last week at Accrington and there was only going to be one winner,” he added.
“That wasn’t the case but we showed a little bit of character to get back to 3-3 and take a point back home with us. Now we need to build on that.”
Sandell has started as a central defender in a back three for the past few games and says he’s happy to play wherever he’s asked.
He has also been on standby as an emergency goalkeeper in recent weeks but Jamie Stephens is now fit to return as Lenny Pidgeley’s deputy.
“I don’t mind where I play, centre-back, wing-back, midfield, up front or in goal it doesn’t bother me,” he said.
“Jamie’s back now so hopefully I won’t have to go in goal now but I’d have been happy to give that a go as well.”