Skipper backs Exiles to last the pace in promotion race
CAPTAIN David Pipe believes Newport County AFC have the talent and the mental strength to go the distance in the League Two promotion race.
County are up to fourth in the table after Saturday’s 2-0 win at Portsmouth, just three points off the top in the week before Christmas.
Justin Edinburgh’s men have overcome a lengthy injury list and made light of their pre-season billing as outsiders in a superb start to life back in the Football League after a 25-year absence.
And Pipe is certain that the Exiles can continue to punch above their weight in the second half of the season as they continue their pursuit of a second successive promotion.
“People can take us seriously or not. I don’t care,” he said. “They can think what they want but if they don’t (take us seriously) it’s at their own peril because we know we’ll give anyone a game.
“I think we’ve surprised a few people and I hope we continue to do that.
“We have got some really talented players and we are mentally and physically strong so we’re ready for the Christmas period when some people will drop off physically.”
Pipe says the way County triumphed at Portsmouth, courtesy of two second half Mike Flynn goals, can provide a template for more success on the road this season.
“It was a very good performance,” he said. “I thought we were solid. We started the game really well in the opening 20 minutes and took the game to them.
“Credit to the boys, a lot of them haven’t played in front of a big crowd like that but they all handled it well.
“Ideally when you go to a place like Fratton Park you want to soak up the pressure and we held out until half-time before turning the screw in the second half.
“And the fans were amazing,” he added. “There were 14,000 home fans and 800 of ours but all you could hear was our supporters.”
Two-goal hero Flynn also praised the travelling County fans for helping to inspire the side to victory.
“The fans were outstanding and it felt more like 1,500 thank 864,” said Flynn. “We gave them something to cheer about and they sang throughout. They really made the difference.”
Like Flynn, Pipe is now hoping to keep his place in the side after being in and out of the starting XI over the past few months due to the form of Ryan Jackson.
“On a personal level I’ve been out of the team for a while for whatever reason so I’m very glad to be back,” said the skipper.
“Jacko came in and did really well and then I got suspended.
“It’s the first time in probably 14 years that I’ve been sat on the bench but I think I’ve showed a good attitude and done a job when called upon.”
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