AFTER a joyless January Newport County AFC captain David Pipe is hoping for a fruitful February as the Exiles look to breathe new life into their promotion push.

Justin Edinburgh’s men have lost ground on their League Two rivals since Christmas, taking two points from 12 last month.

That has seen County fall eight points behind the top seven with two games in hand as drainage problems at Rodney Parade have led to four home games being postponed since December 21.

Pipe and teammates have therefore been on the road for six of their last seven games but, after a battling point at promotion rivals Southend United on Friday night, he’s hoping this month will see a big improvement.

“It gives us a platform to build on because we’ve got seven home games in the next nine, if we can get them on,” said the skipper.

“Hopefully we can build momentum that way because we’ve got one of the best home records in the league.

“If we can go into them and maintain that home form it should stand us in good stead.

“It’s been tough because we’ve had a lot of disruptions. I’m not one for excuses but when you have that many games called off its very difficult to get any momentum going.

“Hopefully the games will come thick and fast now, the rain will stop and the pitch will be OK so we can get out there and get some points on the board.”

Pipe believes County were unlucky not to win in the driving rain at Roots Hall on Friday in a game that saw Robbie Willmott miss a second half penalty.

“You can look at it both ways,” he said. “You go away to a place like Southend and it is tough.

“They are on a good run at home and we’ve been going through a bit of a sticky patch ourselves so we showed good character.

“I honestly thought that, hand on heart, we were the better team – especially in the second half when Lenny (Pidgeley) didn’t have a save to make.

“They had a good bit of pressure in the first half and he made some good saves and kept us in it but that’s what he’s there to do.

“The penalty it’s hit and miss really,” he added. “You want to be hitting the target but he stepped up and showed the courage to take it and overall we’re quite pleased with the performance.

“I don’t even like to look when we’ve got a penalty so I won’t be taking one anytime soon but hopefully when we get the next one we’ll put it away, whoever is taking it.”