ALFRETON v COUNTY (Tomorrow, KO 7.45)

NEWPORT County midfielder Lee Minshull admits he’s never faced such a high level of competition for a starting berth, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

The former afc Wimbledon man has been a marginal figure at Rodney Parade this term, barely featuring as the fine form of the likes of Max Porter and Lee Evans rocketed County to the top of the table However, slowly but surely Minshull has forced his way back in and both he and Michael Flynn scored their first goals of the season in Tuesday’s thumping 6-2 win over Cambridge United.

Minshull has already been in one Conference promotion side and he’s keen to repeat the feat, even though he knows one bad individual performance will see him out of the team again.

“I haven’t started the season as I’d like, I started slowly and this year if you’re not in form you’re not going to play, I’ve had no complaints to be honest,” he said.

“But Tuesday was great, I really enjoyed myself and I felt like Cambridge, who are a good side, couldn’t really live with us. That’s the standard we can play to.

“We’ve got the ability in the midfield to score plenty of goals and we know that we need to show our best.

“I hoped I’d play on Tuesday but you just don’t know any more, every match you know there is a chance you’ll be the unlucky one who is out of the team.

“We’ve got such quality in midfield and I think all of us have different strengths so if you’re not in form, you’re not going to get picked.”

Minshull is hopeful the Exiles can pick up where they left off in front of the TV cameras tomorrow.

“We want to put another good run together and it needs to start at Alfreton where we lost last season,” he said. “You aren’t top of the league in November by accident, we are putting pressure on other teams and if we put another run together we’ll be there or there abouts at Christmas.”

The Exiles could welcome defender Andrew Hughes back into the squad tomorrow, the ex-Cardiff City man still troubled by an ankle problem. Ismail Yakubu will be assessed after suffering a slight knock on Tuesday.