Edinburgh admits County are promotion contenders/Burge update
6:01am Thursday 19th December 2013 in Latest Football
BIRTHDAY boy Justin Edinburgh has admitted for the first time that’s he’s targeting automatic promotion this season.
The former Premier League defender, who turned 44 on Wednesday, hasn’t been keen to make specific targets for Newport’s first season in the Football League since the 1980s.
He began the campaign by insisting the club only be judged after 15 games and even then was keen to press home the point that the key for the Exiles was consolidation.
However, with his side now fourth in League Two and within a single point of the automatic promotions berths, Edinburgh has finally confessed his aim for the campaign.
“The remit was to remain in the league and I think we always felt confident about doing that,” Edinburgh explained.
“I kept saying we couldn’t be judged until 15 games in and in my head that was the time where I’d get a true impression of what was possible for us.
“We’ve seen now how competitive we can be and we’ve done it without a lot of our major players being available to us.
“Without them we’ve become a better squad, because other players have stepped up superbly and surprised even Jimmy (Dack, assistant) and myself.
“I am not saying we are going to win the league and I’m not saying we are going to go up automatically.
“But going for promotion and getting out of this league that has to be our aim now for this season.”
Edinburgh believes the more the pressure and spotlight is put on his side, the better they’ll become.
“I think we’ve proved in the past that we have a group here who are very comfortable with the big occasion,” he said.
“Last season our biggest games were against Grimsby and Wrexham in the play-offs and we responded magnificently and this season again, we’ve done well in the marquee matches.
“We won at Brighton, we won at Crawley, I was very happy with the showing at West Brom and now we’ve gone and won at Portsmouth in front of nearly 16000.
“The big occasion lifts and inspires the players.”
Meanwhile, the Argus can confirm midfielder Ryan Burge will be staying with the Exiles.
Burge has featured only once this season after a string of injuries and has become frustrated, leading to face-to-face talks with both director of football Tim Harris and Edinburgh this week.
“Ryan and I have spoken and he’ll be staying,” Edinburgh confirmed.
“He’s been frustrated, but hopefully now that’s he’s fit his chances will become more frequent.”
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