Captain desperate to return for crunch Wrexham showdown
COUNTY v WREXHAM (Tonight, KO 7.45)
NEWPORT County AFC captain David Pipe faces a late fitness test ahead of tonight’s crucial clash against promotion rivals Wrexham at Rodney Parade.
The County skipper missed the shocking 5-0 home defeat to Forest Green Rovers on New Year’s Day with a hamstring strain and is desperate to play today.
He described the experience of watching his teammates torn to shreds as one of the worst of his career and insisted that the players are relishing the chance to put that right against their Welsh rivals.
“I’m hopeful I’ll be fit to play because it was painful to watch the other day,” said Pipe, who took part in training yesterday.
“I don’t like watching any game when my teammates are playing and I can’t do anything about it but that was probably the worst situation for me.
“We had a bad day at the office and there aren’t too many times you can say that about us this season,” he added.
“It’s not nice to lose 5-0 to anyone but if you can remember how bad it feels you can use it as a positive because we don’t want to feel like that again.”
Manager Justin Edinburgh made his players sit through the video nasty of the Forest Green match in training this week but Pipe admits he is not much wiser as to what went wrong on Tuesday.
“I wish I could put my finger on it,” he said. “We watched the video and there’s no magic wand to put it right but I’ve been in football long enough to know that sometimes you just don’t perform and it was one of those days for us.
“There are no excuses. We didn’t perform individually or as a team but that’s not to say we didn’t try. There was no lack of effort, it’s just that everything went wrong on the day and we want to turn that around against Wrexham.
“The best thing on the back of a bad loss is to bounce back as quickly as possible.
“We can go back to the top with a win and with it being a Welsh derby it means that little bit extra as well.”
Pipe says the Exiles are still exceeding expectations this season and he believes they are more than capable of maintaining their unlikely promotion push.
“We’re right up there in the league with a game in hand and nobody thought we would be at the start of the season,” he said.
“We’ve got to put the last game behind us and get back to what we have been doing all season. There’s no point hanging on to that negativity, we’ve got to move on and stay positive.”