We must follow in Crawley's footsteps, says Justin Edinburgh
NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh says the club must aim to emulate what Crawley Town have done and target successive promotions.
Edinburgh saw his side dump Crawley out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night but he is full of admiration for the Sussex side.
Three years ago the club’s met in the Conference but the Reds are now riding high in League One after winning back-to-back promotions in 2011 and 2012.
County are just outside the play-off zone in League Two and Edinburgh insists that they must continue to set their sights high.
“We’ve beaten a very good team,” said the Exiles boss. “Crawley have had a very good start to the season and as a club we’ve got to look at them and try to emulate what they’ve done.”
Edinburgh’s priority is Saturday’s trip to Rochdale in the league but he was delighted with the character his players showed to come back from 2-0 down at the Broadfield Stadium.
Chris Zebroski pulled one back before the break and substitute Adam Chapman levelled from the spot after James Hurst was sent off for pulling back Danny Crow.
Connor Essam then put through his own net from Robbie Willmott’s cross to complete the remarkable comeback.
“It didn’t seem like it meant enough to us first half,” said Edinburgh. “It’s a long time since we’ve been playing in the Football League Trophy and I felt it needed to mean more to us. It certainly did after the break.
“We were playing a division one team sitting in eighth position so we showed fantastic character to get ourselves back in it and win the game and I think we rightly take our place in the next round.”
The one downside of the victory was an injury to defender Ismail Yakubu, which could keep him out of Saturday’s match.
“He felt a slight twinge in his hamstring and we didn’t want to take any chances,” said Edinburgh. “Hopefully we’ve done the right thing and we’ll look at it over the next few days. If he misses any games it will probably only be one.”
Billy Jones missed Tuesday’s match due to illness and Ryan Burge is still sidelined but Edinburgh is hopeful that they could soon be back in action, along with Christian Jolley, Aaron O’Connor and Max Porter.
“They’re all progressing and we’re really positive,” he added. “The squad is growing in strength and character and we’re really blossoming now.”
The draw for the JPT area quarter-finals will take place on Sky Sports’ Soccer AM show on Saturday morning and the ties will be played in the week beginning November 11.
County could face Leyton Orient, Peterborough United, Portsmouth, Dagenham & Redbridge, Stevenage, Swindon Town or Wycombe Wanderers.
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