Play-offs may be a step too far, says Exiles boss

South Wales Argus: BELIEF: Exiles boss Justin Edinburgh BELIEF: Exiles boss Justin Edinburgh

NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh has admitted for the first time that the League Two play-offs may be beyond his side this season.

The Exiles have seen their hopes of a top-seven finish hit by a run of just one win in 13 games and they've lost the last two at Mansfield Town and Morecambe.

That has left County seven points off the play-off places with two games in hand, but also only seven points above the drop zone.

And the run has led Edinburgh to reassess where his side are in terms of their long-term progression.

The focus now is on retaining their hard-earned place in the Football League first and foremost.

“As a manager I was looking at the play-offs and it may have been a step too far,” said the Exiles boss.

“We’ve got to rediscover that winning formula. That’s all we’re looking at; we’re not looking up or down.”

But with relegation-threatened Exeter City heading to Rodney Parade on Sunday, Edinburgh is convinced that his side can stop the rot sooner rather than later.

And he’s attempted to boost his players’ confidence by showing them footage of their superb start to life in League Two, including the 2-0 win at Exeter in September.

“The effort and the commitment of the players is there but the results haven’t and we’ve got to turn that round,” said Edinburgh.

“We’re on a real difficult run right now. We’re fully aware of that and we know we need to do something about it very quickly.

“But we’ve got to remain positive because we have been competitive even in the games we’ve lost.

“We’ve sat down with the players this week and shown them a lot of footage from early in the season, trying to put that psychological twist on it.

“We’re trying everything we can and I’m confident that we will turn it around but we have to do less talking and more doing.

“It’s a big test and I’m learning more about myself as a manager from this run than I would have at the start of the season,” he added.

“This will make us stronger, the players will learn from it as well and it will stand us in good stead.”

Edinburgh insists that morale in the camp is high despite Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat at Morecambe and that was boosted by a trip to the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday.

“Honesty and trust is key and there were open and frank discussions amongst the players after Tuesday,” said the manager.

“There is great togetherness here. If we’re going to do anything it is as a collective and that’s myself, my staff, the players and supporters.”

Defender Ismail Yakubu (thigh) should be fit to face the Grecians but Ryan Burge (ear infection) and Andy Sandell (hamstring) are doubts.

Comments (9)

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9:50am Fri 14 Mar 14

Adrian Williams says...

After 25 years in the footballing wilderness, it was all about staying up for me this season - if we can do that then it's job done. Consolidate and build for next season in League Two - hopefully under Justin Edinburgh. (and get the pitch sorted ;o) People need to be realistic with their expectations - we are a small club in League Two and there are some really big established teams in there .
After 25 years in the footballing wilderness, it was all about staying up for me this season - if we can do that then it's job done. Consolidate and build for next season in League Two - hopefully under Justin Edinburgh. (and get the pitch sorted ;o) People need to be realistic with their expectations - we are a small club in League Two and there are some really big established teams in there . Adrian Williams
  • Score: 19

11:51am Fri 14 Mar 14

NakedDancer says...

Northampton will probably beat Mansfield at home Saturday so County will be 4 points from the drop zone before the Exeter match on Sunday with the worst 2014 form in League 2. Desperately need a win Sunday. Support the County !
Northampton will probably beat Mansfield at home Saturday so County will be 4 points from the drop zone before the Exeter match on Sunday with the worst 2014 form in League 2. Desperately need a win Sunday. Support the County ! NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Fri 14 Mar 14

asrncafc says...

Hope and pray that any doubts regarding Burge's ear infection would be over by Sunday and that the player would be included in the starting line-up. We strongly need his talent and skills in midfield.
Hope and pray that any doubts regarding Burge's ear infection would be over by Sunday and that the player would be included in the starting line-up. We strongly need his talent and skills in midfield. asrncafc
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Fri 14 Mar 14

County Till I Die says...

Support the County!
Support the County! County Till I Die
  • Score: 3

4:05pm Fri 14 Mar 14

JimMachen says...

You are keeping your eyes on the wrong end of the table Justin.
You are keeping your eyes on the wrong end of the table Justin. JimMachen
  • Score: 0

4:48pm Fri 14 Mar 14

COUNTYVOICE says...

secure league 2 safety first justin . its all about confidence, one win will probably change the whole perpective on things.

and believe me with a fickle league like league 2 a team that can string 2-3 wins together will go shooting up the league.

but focus on the first win , fight for it , and no better place to start at home to EXETER.

A proverbial 6 pointer , A MUST WIN game, a game at home, the chance of a DOUBLE, and with a playing surface that should now be more condusive to playing football on the ground, and believe me WHEN COUNTY DO THAT THERE IS NO BETTER TEAM TO WATCH IN THE UK.

cut out the mistakes, TAKE YOUR CHANCES, and outplay exeter.. YOU CAN DO IT , YOU HAVE DONE IT ONCE THIS SEASON, so lets get the GOOD SHIP COUNTY SAILING AGAIN , and get out of this choppy waters. and sailing to more calmer grounds. nautical but nice .
secure league 2 safety first justin . its all about confidence, one win will probably change the whole perpective on things. and believe me with a fickle league like league 2 a team that can string 2-3 wins together will go shooting up the league. but focus on the first win , fight for it , and no better place to start at home to EXETER. A proverbial 6 pointer , A MUST WIN game, a game at home, the chance of a DOUBLE, and with a playing surface that should now be more condusive to playing football on the ground, and believe me WHEN COUNTY DO THAT THERE IS NO BETTER TEAM TO WATCH IN THE UK. cut out the mistakes, TAKE YOUR CHANCES, and outplay exeter.. YOU CAN DO IT , YOU HAVE DONE IT ONCE THIS SEASON, so lets get the GOOD SHIP COUNTY SAILING AGAIN , and get out of this choppy waters. and sailing to more calmer grounds. nautical but nice . COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 1

5:17pm Fri 14 Mar 14

larneman says...

Come on County I badly need some bragging rights. Relax and smile a lot and enjoy the match. It's hard to lose when you are smiling. Win 3-0 and we'll all be laughing.
Come on County I badly need some bragging rights. Relax and smile a lot and enjoy the match. It's hard to lose when you are smiling. Win 3-0 and we'll all be laughing. larneman
  • Score: 1

8:21pm Fri 14 Mar 14

b3talover says...

Staying up may be a step too far at this rate!!!!
Staying up may be a step too far at this rate!!!! b3talover
  • Score: -4

9:35pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Adrian Williams says...

b3talover wrote:
Staying up may be a step too far at this rate!!!!
I wouldn't want to be in the trenches with you
[quote][p][bold]b3talover[/bold] wrote: Staying up may be a step too far at this rate!!!![/p][/quote]I wouldn't want to be in the trenches with you Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

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