NEWPORT County and their ex-star man Danny Rose are both hopeful tomorrow night's clash at Rodney Parade will finally go ahead.

The Exiles were due to face Oxford, the early season pace-setters in League Two, on December 21 and there is a hope, perhaps even desperation, at Rodney Parade to get a game on having faced so many postponements that eight of Newport's last ten games have been on the road.

The Football League and Oxford have consulted with County who will conduct a preliminary pitch inspection at 1pm today.

The Argus understands the prospects of play today were very much dependent on the weather overnight.

"Following intensive work by ground staff over the weekend, including the implementation of temporary drainage, the pitch at Rodney Parade is in a far improved state than recent weeks," the club informed supporters yesterday.

"After consultation with the Football League and Oxford United a preliminary pitch inspection will take place at 1pm by the match referee.

"Currently, the pitch is in a playable state and whilst the weather forecast for tomorrow is currently favourable, we are mindful of today’s weather forecast, hence the precautionary assessment at 1pm tomorrow."

Former County star Rose is relishing returning to Newport for the first time since January 2012.

Rose was an integral part of the side promoted from the Conference South at County before moving to Fleetwood Town; since rejoining Oxford, from whom he joined the Exiles in August 2008.

But excited as he is to be returning - Rose left the club at Spytty Park and is yet to play at Rodney Parade after making 149 appearances and scoring 36 goals - he knows old friendships will have to wait, just as they will for former Oxford old boys Adam Chapman and Chris Zebroski.

“If it’s on, I have been looking forward to it for quite a while,” said the former Manchester United Reserves’ skipper.

“It’s a club where I had three and a half really good years. I’ve got really good memories and there’s a lot of good people there.

“I had a promotion there and two successful seasons in the Conference. The season I left, they ended up going up, so they are doing pretty well.”

But while Rose still has affection for the Exiles where he was a fans’ favourite, he says he will fully focused on getting a victory for the U’s.

He added: “It’s another game for me, I am no longer a Newport player, I am an Oxford player now.

“Even though I look out for their scores and I am still friends with a couple of the lads there, it will be business as usual and we’re looking to get the three points.”