PROMOTION to League One this season might have been too much too soon for Newport County AFC according to manager Justin Edinburgh, writes Michael Pearlman.

The Exiles entertain already promoted Rochdale in their final League Two fixture on Saturday chasing a top-half finish, but that’s a different story to Christmas when the Exiles were just three points off the summit of League Two and pushing hard, at least, for the play-offs.

However, the manager is confident lessons learned will stand him and his players in good stead.

“I think we’ve learned, certainly I have, more this year than in any other and I think it’s been a fantastic season for this football club,” he said.

“The players deserve tremendous credit, more than they’ve received and we’d have never turned down promotion, if we were in the play-offs we’d be trying to win them, but long-term it might not have been the best thing.

“I don’t think we are in that position yet to take the next level, on or off the field and we don’t want to be out of our depth and failing.

“It’s been a work in progress since I came here, it’s a re-formed club, new in the league and we were never, ever ready for League One really.

“I am looking long-term, I accept that because of the relationship I have with Howard and Les I get more of a say in how the club operates than a lot of managers and you have to try and evolve.

“Our challenge is to leave a legacy and getting everything right. The next step is getting back to training in Newport, that’s a must; it is nonsense for Newport County to train in Cardiff.

“We have to establish things, the youth is going to be a big thing for me, and we are catching up and trying to get things right across the board.”

The Exiles welcome back Darcy Blake (rib) for Saturday's clash with Rochdale and Andy Sandell (shoulder) will have a late fitness test.