MICHAEL Flynn may be a management rookie but he’s determined to be his own man as he aims to guide Newport County AFC to safety.
County were thumped 6-1 at promoted Plymouth Argyle on Easter Monday but Flynn still has an impressive record of five wins from nine games in charge of his hometown club.
And a points tally of 16 out of a possible 27 compares favourably with his more experienced predecessors in the Rodney Parade dugout this season.
Warren Feeney earned six points out of a possible 27 before he was sacked in September and, after Sean McCarthy claimed one point from his only league game in charge, Graham Westley picked up 19 out of 72 available.
The Exiles were 11 points from safety when Westley was dismissed on March 9.
Six weeks later they are just one point behind 22nd-placed Hartlepool United with three games to go, starting at home to Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
And, while the help and advice of assistant Wayne Hatswell and first team management consultant Lennie Lawrence has been crucial, Flynn says he wants to stand or fall by his own decisions.
“Being a manager is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said the 36-year-old caretaker boss.
“I learned a lot off Graham, I learned stuff off Warren, John Sheridan and other managers I’ve had throughout my career – Paul Jewell, Peter Taylor.
“I’ve learned some good things, some bad things and I’ve got to put them together but still be my own man.
“I’ve got a good team around me with Wayne and Lennie but I’ve still got to be the way I want to be because otherwise the players will see through you and know you’re just putting an act on.
“That’s something that I don’t want to do. I want to make sure I come across how I want to be and just take little bits from all of them.”
County’s revival has given Flynn a strong chance of landing the manager’s job on a permanent even if their Great Escape bid ultimately ends in failure.
But he’s confident that his players can finish the job.
“All teams doing well need that togetherness,” said Flynn.
“I’ve been fortunate to have promotions throughout my career and I’ve been involved with some good teams.
“I know what winning looks and feels like and I’m just trying to rub that off on the boys.
“And they’ve responded. There’s a lot of winners in that dressing room.
“They might be down towards the bottom of the Football League but there’s a good few players who should be playing higher.”
County are hopeful of another big crowd this Saturday and aiming to avoid a repeat of the long queues at the ticket office that led to many supporters missing the start of the Good Friday win over Yeovil Town.
A club statement on the matter reads: “The club would like to apologise to supporters who experienced lengthy delays when purchasing tickets.
“Whilst additional volunteers were recruited to assist with the expected large Bank Holiday crowd, the ticket office experienced several technical based issues with its ticket system, which resulted in two of the four ticket windows having to close.
“Technicians have been called out to Rodney Parade to fix the system ahead of Saturday's League Two fixture.
“The club would like to thank supporters who have provided feedback from Friday's match and will be using this to prevent further issues for the final two home matches of the season, as well as to assist in a ticket operations review which will take place in the close season.
“Newport County AFC would like to remind supporters that tickets can be purchased in advance of a match day at the ticket office between 10am and 3pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as from 10am until kick off on Saturday of a home match.
“In addition, tickets can also be purchased online at www.newportcountytickets.co.uk for collection in the club shop or printed at home.
“Supporters are reminded to arrive early prior to home matches to avoid lengthy queues and late entry to the match.”