Long trips no problem for The Yak
COUNTY v MACCLESFIELD (Tomorrow, KO 3pm)
LONG away trips don’t bother Ismail Yakubu – he just sleeps away the miles and dreams of promotion to the Football League.
Newport County AFC are about to embark on a gruelling set of fixtures that sees them play five times in ten days, starting with tomorrow’s home game against Macclesfield Town.
After Kidderminster Harriers visit Rodney Parade on Tuesday, the Exiles must travel to York to take on Gateshead next Thursday, then Stockport next Saturday and Southport the following Tuesday.
But centre-back Yakubu is just looking forward to getting back to winning ways after the 1-1 draw at Ebbsfleet United last Saturday when fellow Exiles defender Andy Sandell had a stoppage-time penalty saved.
“It was disappointing but we weren’t really at our best,” said Yakubu.
“We would have got away with it if we’d scored the penalty but probably 1-1 was a fair result.
“The most important thing is that we kept our unbeaten run going and we’re still on course for a fantastic end to the season.
“We’ve got to play a lot of games in a short space of time and that is the bad thing about games being called off because there is such a small window to fit them all in now.
“It’s the first time in my career that I’ll have to play four games in a week but I’m quite looking forward to the challenge.
“The squad is going to be important over the next few weeks and I’m sure the gaffer will change a few things from game to game.
“We’ll have to be conserving as much energy as we can in between the games.
“But for me the long trips are not a problem because I sleep all the way,” he added.
“As soon as the coach starts I get my pillow out and I wake up when we get there ready to play.
“I’ve no idea what the others get up to, to be honest.
“They don’t mess with me anymore because I just sleep through it, so they got bored!”
Yakubu was part of the AFC Wimbledon side that won promotion to League Two via the play-offs in 2011 and he can see similarities with the County squad this year.
“I had that same feeling from the beginning of the season,” he said.
“All you need is a good bunch of lads that are going to work hard for each other and you can do anything.”
The Nigerian-born ace says the return to fitness of top scorer Aaron O’Connor is a major boost for the promotion bid.
“Having Aaron back is massive for us,” he said.
“We’ve been doing OK without him, with other people stepping up and getting goals, but with him back in the side it’s an added bonus to a team that’s already in form. It’s like a new signing for us.”