NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh says he won’t reverse his decision to release captain David Pipe at the end of the season.
Exiles skipper Pipe was told last month, along with midfielder Mike Flynn, that he would not be staying at Rodney Parade beyond the summer.
The 30-year-old former Wales international returned to the starting XI for Sunday’s 1-1 home draw with Exeter City and looks set to keep his place for tonight’s visit of Dagenham & Redbridge.
And Pipe has spoken of his shock at being told he has no future at the club and has vowed to do everything he can to change the manager’s decision.
“It’s a very difficult situation for me,” he said. “I’m a very proud person. I’m prouder than most and it has hit me hard,” said Pipe.
“I’ve seen a lot of things in football, but it shocked me. I’m not going to lie and say I expected it. I respect the manager’s decision, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s right.
“I’m a fighter,” he added. “I’m not saying I can change the gaffer’s mind, but I will do my best to do so.
“If I can’t, I can’t, but it will not be through the want of trying.”
So could Edinburgh change his mind on Pipe?
“I don’t think so,” said the Exiles boss. “But I expected nothing less of David.
“He’s a fantastic professional and he’s been a great servant to me and this football club.
“He’s employed until the end of June and I expect him to play like any other player.
“I thought he played very well on Sunday and he’ll play again (against Dagenham).”
Edinburgh knows that his side need to end a run of one win in 14 games as quickly as possible if they are to have any hope of catching the top seven in League Two but he is certain that the squad is still united.
“I’m fed up of talking about the play-offs,” he said. “I think everyone’s expectations have gone through the roof in terms of the start we had but all we can concentrate on is ourselves.
“We can’t look at the teams above us but it’s not only us who are having a difficult time at the moment.
“That’s why we’re only seven points off still but we have to get back to winning ways first.
“As a manager I’m confident that the wins are not too far away as long as the attitude is right, and we saw that with the goals so soon after going behind on Sunday.
“The group are still together, still have the belief, and as long as we continue to work together I have no doubt that we’ll turn this situation around.”