HAPPY New Year to all Newport County fans! It will be a big ask but let’s hope 2014 will be as good for us as 2013 was.
The last 12 months have been right up there amongst the best of my football career.
To help my home town club back into the Football League after 25 years was an incredible moment for me.
We definitely look like we belong in League Two now and I even managed to finish the year with three goals, which was a nice bonus.
We will be doing everything in our power to match the achievements of last season as we reach the business end of this campaign and hopefully my old legs will allow me to play a big part in that.
It’s been a funny week for us since I wrote my last column. Coming off the high of winning at Wycombe on Boxing Day, thanks to my goal, we had high hopes of getting another positive result at Burton last Sunday.
That obviously wasn’t to be and then we had the disappointment of the New Year’s Day game against Oxford being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
That denied us the chance to bounce back straight away from what was a pretty poor display against Burton.
So we’re all hoping that the rain holds off now and we can get a good win against Northampton this afternoon.
We have had a lot of bad weather and everyone at the club was glad that the predicted floods in Newport on Thursday night and Friday morning never materialised.
When people are being evacuated from their homes it puts into perspective any worries about whether a football match will go ahead.
But the ground staff at Rodney Parade do a fantastic job trying to get these games on and I’m sure the fans are desperate to see us play at home.
Due to the Wimbledon game also being lost to the weather before Christmas we haven’t played at home since the 3-0 defeat to Peterborough in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
And our last league match at Rodney Parade was our 3-2 win over Chesterfield way back on December 1 – over a month ago now.
It is important for the fans that we get the game on and for the club as well. We will have lost a lot in gate money because the festive fixtures are always well-attended.
We want to put on a show for our home fans and hopefully continue our fantastic home record this season and get back into those play-off places.
We also want to get the win over Northampton that we felt we deserved in the match at their place in August.
Matt Duke, my old mate from Bradford, was unbelievable that day but things haven’t gone to plan for the Cobblers since then.
They come to us bottom of the league and without a manager so you might think it is an ideal time to play them but we know it will be a real battle.
Their players will be playing for their futures really and fighting to get the club out of the hole they’re in.
I’m surprised that they have struggled so badly but I always thought they over-achieved a bit last season.
Aidy Boothroyd did a brilliant job to get them to the play-off final at Wembley, where they lost to Bradford, but they lost some key players in the summer.
The likes of Adebayo Akinfenwa and Clarke Carlisle have gone and they haven’t coped as well as many thought they would.
I wish them well for the rest of the season because we all know how worrying it is to be facing the prospect of going out of the League but, of course, I hope we beat them convincingly today.
We’re not going to win every game as I’ve always said and the Burton match was a good example.
They are a very good side who probably should have gone up last season and I’m sure they will be serious contenders to seal promotion to League One this time round.
I’m still convinced that we will be up there as well. It was just a poor performance on the day that cost us.
We didn’t play to anywhere near our best ability and we didn’t create anything, which isn’t like us.
We hope to have the chance to put that right this afternoon and with our home record we are confident of beating anyone at Rodney Parade.