NEWPORT County will be boosted by the return of their skipper for the opening clash of their League Two campaign.
But the Exiles are unlikely to do any transfer business before the new season gets underway with Wycombe the visitors to Rodney Parade this Saturday.
Manager Justin Edinburgh saw the Exiles round out a highly impressive pre-season with a 3-0 win at a West Ham United development side at the weekend and admits he’s now facing a daunting task to select a team to face the Chairboys in four days time.
Only goalkeeper Jamie Stephens and midfielder Max Porter will be unavailable for the big kick-off through injury – Ryan Jackson is suspended - with captain Andy Sandell also winning the battle to be fit to face his former club.
Sandell, announced last week as David Pipe’s successor to wear the armband, injured his hamstring in training last week.
However, he was immediately pulled out and rested from Saturday’s visit to east London with Andrew Hughes playing 90 minutes and Sandell is expected to be fit for the big kick-off.
However, the Exiles are unlikely to be stronger or lighter in terms of transfers with Edinburgh reporting nothing likely to happen in the next seven days.
As revealed in Argus Sport, County are examining the possibility of fine-tuning their squad before the end of the transfer window, with Edinburgh keen to add at least one player.
However, there is a clear policy that no more players will arrive unless some leave first, with Edinburgh in discussions over two members of the first team squad.
While the club aren’t naming the players, they have been negotiating at least one permanent sale, but those negotiations have failed to find a satisfactory resolution.
County have until the end of August to conclude any transfer business and the focus this week will instead be solely on the resumption of the Football League.
Edinburgh has competition all over the pitch following Newport’s bright pre-season and he’s unsure on his selection ahead of what he believes will be an unpredictable season in League Two.
“I absolutely have more questions than answers for myself at the moment with the team selection,” he explained.
“They are very good problems for a manager to have, but we’ve got a lot of players in good form, good condition and they are all desperate to play.
“It is going to be a tough week for me.”
Edinburgh is confident his side can compete well in League Two this term and believes the division is extremely open, Bury, Luton and Portsmouth the current bookies favourites for promotion.
“I don’t see it as maybe being as strong at the top as last season,” Edinburgh explained.
“There are plenty of big name clubs and good pedigrees, but there isn’t one I look at and expect to run away with things. I think it’s very open.
“And there is no reason why we can’t be competitive whoever we are playing.”