NEWPORT County AFC boss Justin Edinburgh is urging the people of Newport and Gwent to get behind the club as they begin a new era at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles face Bristol Rovers tonight in their first game at their new home after the protracted move was ratified this summer.

County will be hopeful of a bumper crowd for their historic first night at their new home and Edinburgh is pinning his hopes on a positive response.

“Hopefully we will see some new faces at the game tonight, it would be great if we can attract new fans who might have only gone to watch us for the first time at Wembley,” he said.

“Rodney Parade is a brilliant facility and the pitch is a different level to the one at Spytty.

“We’ve all been struck by how close the fans are to the pitch and hopefully it’ll mean we have a really great atmosphere.

“Anyone on the fence about going, we would urge you to come and see for yourselves just how much better things are than at our previous ground.

“This is a new era, a new squad with a brand new ground and the support of the local people is going to be absolutely vital to our progress.”

The Exiles are continuing to work towards bringing in striker Aaron O’Connor and midfielder Mike Flynn although neither will be available for tonight’s game.

Goalkeeper Alan Julian also misses out with a knee injury, as does Ismail Yakubu though he is likely to be fit for next Tuesday’s clash with Swansea City. Julian, meanwhile, is touch and go for the start of the season, though trialist Joe Perry is close to being offered a contract with the Exiles to be his understudy.

Meanwhile, the Exiles are unlikely to benefit from a sell-on clause for striker Craig Reid. The former County hotshot is close to re-joining former boss Dean Holdsworth, this time at Aldershot.

However, the fee for Reid is understood to be no greater than what Stevenage paid for the hitman and County’s clause only entitled them to a percentage of the profit, which won’t be a factor in this deal.