NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh insists the ‘moneybags’ tag that has been attached to his team is ludicrous.

Currently riding high in the top two of the Blue Square Bet Premier and with multi-millionaire chairman Les Scadding coming in, County have gained a reputation for splashing the cash.

But Edinburgh says the notion that his side are the new Crawley or Fleetwood couldn’t be further from the truth and is unfair on his players.

“We’re fully aware of that tag but it’s not true,” said the Exiles boss, who this week paid his first transfer fee since arriving at the club just over a year ago.

“Our budget is not in the top five of the clubs in this league, we’re not even in the top eight. We’re probably top 12.

“The budget was increased before Les came in and we’ve repaid that already with our attendances. But since Les came in I think the only players we’ve signed have been Lenny Pidgeley, who we had here previously, and Conor Washington for a nominal fee.

“I thank Les for his backing but we haven’t paid a lot of money for Conor and we see him as a player who can make money for the club in the long-term.

“Our success is based on hard work on the training pitch and a great team spirit,” he added. “We see that we’re being labelled as the richest club but we can’t affect what people say about us. We know the truth and it doesn’t bother us.”

County travel to Tamworth today and Edinburgh says Washington could be involved, and he brushed aside fears about the young striker’s knee.

“There never was an issue with the knee,” he said.

“Conor had a full medical at Cambridge and before they’d had the report back they pulled out of the deal, whether they were trying to pull a fast one with St Ives I don’t know. But I don’t think it needed to go public. Conor went to a specialist and I’ve seen the letter saying his knee is completely fine. I’m 100 per cent happy that he’s fit and he’s been playing and training. Any problem we would have seen.

“He’s match fit and he’ll be in the squad for Tamworth.

“He won’t be quite up to our level yet but that rawness and enthusiasm will probably get him through the first few weeks.”

There is also good news on Lee Evans’ hamstring injury. The midfielder is unlikely to play any part today but could be back for Tuesday’s home match against Ebbsfleet United.

Edinburgh said: “Lee is back doing some jogging and it won’t be too long before he’s back with us.”