We can go up as champions, says County ace Christian Jolley
HYDE v COUNTY (today, KO 3pm)
CHRISTIAN Jolley knows what it takes to win promotion from the Conference and he believes March will be crunch time as Newport County AFC aim to clinch a place in the Football League.
County travel to Hyde today for the first in a run of 15 games in 50 days between now and the end of the Blue Square Bet Premier regular season on April 20. It’s a hectic fixture list but flying winger Jolley, a £30,000 signing from AFC Wimbledon in January, is certain that the Exiles have the quality to follow in the footsteps of the Dons in 2011.
“I think this is the month that will dictate who is going to be up there at the end of the season,” said the 24-year-old.
“It’s crunch time now. All the top clubs have got a like-for-like schedule so I think we’ll see who stays the course.
“Wrexham and Grimsby could be distracted by playing at Wembley in the FA Trophy final (on March 24) so that might work to our advantage but everyone knows that the league is the priority.
“We’ve all worked hard all year to get ourselves in this position and it’s so important for all these clubs to get back into the Football League.
“It’s nice that me Ismail Yakubu and Lee Minshull have got the experience of going up with Wimbledon,” he added.
“We did it through the play-offs then and we’ve got good memories of that but we want to go up as champions this time.
“The plan is to get it wrapped up by April 20 and then enjoy the summer.”
First up are struggling Hyde at Ewen Fields this afternoon and Jolley has got revenge on his mind after today’s opponents ruined his first appearance for County on loan in November.
“It’s a big game. They beat us at Rodney Parade so we’ll be trying to do to them what they did to us,” he said.
“I think we did well in that game. I think it was my first game for the club and I equalized early in the second half but they hit us on the counter attack and scored at the right times to kill us.”
After scoring five goals in five games in November and December, Jolley was recalled by Wimbledon and had the chance to join Luton Town amongst others but he’s certain he made the right decision in returning to Rodney Parade.
“I went back to Wimbledon and sat on the sidelines for a month,” he added. “That was frustrating but it was a difficult time for the club because they were really struggling and it wasn’t the ideal situation to go back into.
“Luckily we got the deal done, I was able to come back here and get back playing again so I’m happy.
“And they’ve picked up a bit so hopefully they stay up and we go up and we’re playing against them next season in League Two.
“I feel at home here. The boys were very welcoming when I came on loan and I feel I settled in again quickly.
“There were other options but I know I made the right choice. All we’ve got to do is get promoted now and I’ll be proved right.”