THE man known as the ‘Tank’ is delighted to be back on the front line for Newport County AFC and ready to play a full part in their battle to stay top of the table.

Justin Edinburgh’s troops returned to the top of the pile in the Blue Square Bet Premier with a 3-0 victory at Barrow last Saturday.

That win, which brought to an end a minor blip of two defeats and a draw, coincided with the return of midfield war horse Lee Minshull to the starting XI for the first time this season.

The former AFC Wimbledon player had not started a competitive match since the FA Trophy final defeat to York City back in May.

And he was deployed in an unfamiliar role up front on the big Wembley pitch, meaning he hadn’t featured in his preferred position since the final league game of last season – also at Barrow.

“I was pleased to get back in,” admitted the 26-year-old, who hopes to retain his place in a 4-4-2 formation against Southport at Rodney Parade tomorrow.

“I was a regular last season after I joined and it has been a little bit frustrating not being involved a lot this season.

“But I tried not to let it affect me or to let my disappointment bring down the mood of the other players.

“The manager sat me down and told me I’d get my chance and I have done but you couldn’t really change a team that had won five out of five – I understood that.

“We’ve got a stronger squad this season with Mike Flynn and Jake Thomson coming in,” he added.

“Max Porter is fully fit and flying at the moment and Lee Evans has been superb so there is a lot more competition in midfield.”

Minshull was pleased with his own performance at Barrow and the team display.

“The manager thought I could add something and we got the win so it was a good feeling,” he said.

“Hopefully I’ve done enough to keep my place but we’re all in it together and if not I’ll keep plugging away.”