NEWPORT County AFC striker Rene Howe is hoping to shake off a knee problem to halt his former club’s promotion charge this afternoon.

The 27-year-old is struggling with a condition known as patella tendonitis, which causes stiffness in the knee joint, but he’s desperate to start against Burton Albion at Rodney Parade.

Howe was deemed surplus to requirements by the Brewers in January and was quick to link up again with manager Justin Edinburgh, whom he played under during a loan spell at Rushden & Diamonds.

Burton are fifth in League Two after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Hartlepool and still holding out hope of catching Rochdale or Chesterfield for an automatic promotion place.

Howe wants to end that hope and secure another three points for the Exiles after a disappointing 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon on Friday.

“Hopefully I’ll be fit,” he said. “I want to play against my old club and I want to ruin their party.

“It’s a big game for us as well because we want to win as many points as we can

“I had a good time there but things didn’t work out and I left, simple as that,” he said of his short stay at Burton.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here and I’ve got nothing to prove to them or to anyone else.”

Howe is pleased with the way he has linked up with Christian Jolley and Chris Zebroski in the last few games but he’s also delighted that his old friend Aaron O’Connor has put his injury nightmare behind him.

“The way we’ve played as a front three in the last few games has been good,” said Howe.

“And it was great to see Aaron coming back as well. I’ve known him for a long time since the Rushden days and he’s not played in the League before.

“He’s worked hard to get back and we’re all delighted to see him fit again.”

Howe was not so happy about the way his side threw away two points at Wimbledon.

“We were a bit shocked because we cruised the game in the first half and at 2-0 you just want to see out the game,” he said.

“Since I’ve been here that’s the most frustrating thing – we just can’t see out games.

“If we’re not scoring the strikers get the flak but we scored two goals, we were cruising and then we conceded two sloppy goals.

“The gaffer gave everyone a hard time about it because we shouldn’t have drawn that game.”