WE’LL all be pulling back the curtains this morning and hoping that the rain has held off because we really want to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.
As a squad we all felt that the last gasp goal from Lee Minshull to earn us a 3-3 draw at Accrington Stanley last week could be a turning point for us.
All the players are really hoping the Rodney Parade pitch passes the pitch inspection because, like any home game, we feel this is a great chance to get three more points on the board.
I know the fans all want to see us in action at home again and we’ve trained hard all week so it would be a shame for that to go to waste.
It was nice to get down to Llanwern High School on Thursday where the club was launching the futsal programme.
From what I know of futsal it allows youngsters to get better technically and anything that improves the touch and skill of people coming into the game can only be a good thing.
We’ve still got a long way to go before we catch up with the likes of Spain on that front.
We had a good training session on the new pitch at Llanwern as well and you have to say the facilities are superb.
Being a Newport boy I always think it’s nice for the club to train in Newport but we are well looked after at Llanrumney as well and the players all enjoy training there.
It was good to see three of the club’s academy players representing the Wales under-18s team at Llanwern last week.
Jesse Victory, who is a promising defender, captained Wales to a 3-2 win over Australia and midfielder Lewis Jones set up one of the goals while Tre Marrett made a good impact from the bench.
Jesse and a few of the other youngsters also played with me and a lot of the first team squad in the friendly at Cheltenham’s training ground on Tuesday.
It is good to see the kids coming through and mixing with the first team. Sometimes it’s a big step up for them but they have to be ready in case the gaffer needs to call on them.
And if they’ve got any aspirations of playing in the first team they’ve got to be able to hold their own in reserve games.
If they can’t do it there then the manager’s not going to move them into his first team squad.
That’s the harsh reality of football but I thought the likes of Jesse and Joe Ward did well against Cheltenham reserves and we also had a couple of trialists who made an impact.
The 4-1 defeat wasn’t what we wanted but the game was more about getting some minutes for the likes of Jamie Stephens and Andrew Hughes.
I missed the last game at Accrington as well so I was happy to play. I’d rather that than doing a running session.
Adam Chapman, who is suspended at the moment, also played and he was outstanding I thought. We’ll be glad to see him back in the side after his ban because he has been a big player for us this season.
But the competition for places in our midfield is getting stronger every week at the moment.
Me and Chappers sat it out at Accrington while Ryan Burge and Lee Minshull came in and both got vital goals for us.
Max Porter is also getting closer to making his comeback, which will be a big boost, and we’ve also got Robbie Willmott and Tom Naylor who can play in there.
And David Pipe can do a great job in the middle of the park, as he showed at Accrington.
Ryan took his goal superbly and it was great to see because he’s had a tough time with injuries since he arrived.
Hopefully he can show everyone what he’s capable of between now and the end of the season.
I was also really pleased for Lee getting the goal in injury time. Like me he’s had to come to terms with not playing every game this season but we all keep each other on our toes.
The goal stopped the rot a little bit and hopefully we can use that as a platform as we look to pick up three points against Dagenham today – if the weather allows us!