County boss looking to sign wing-backs
COUNTY v KIDDERMINSTER (Tonight, KO 7.45)
NEWPORT County will attempt to sign two players in the next 48 hours but, as with everything lately, time is against them.
Saturday’s postponed clash with Macclesfield leaves New-port facing the mother of all fixture pile-ups and a week that sees them play Kidderminster (tonight), Gateshead (Thursday), Stockport (Saturday) and South-port (next Tuesday).
The official closing date for loan signings is this Thursday but with the Exiles in action at York that night, manager Justin Edinburgh believes any business by County must be concluded by tomorrow.
A frantic weekend of phone-calls and scouting trips has yet to yield a new player but Edinburgh admits he’s very keen to swell his numbers.
“I’ve talked to the board and as ever they’ve been supportive, I have the means to get another couple in if that’s what we want to do,” he said.
“I am particularly interested in strengthening my options with the wing-backs because if we continue to play as we have (with three central defenders) we have absolutely no cover whatsoever for David Pipe and only Andrew Hughes to come in for Andy Sandell.
“We’d like to address that and we’ve done a lot of talking but so far without joy.
“We thought we had one done but that’s fallen through as the boy doesn’t want to move to Wales.
“We won’t sign players for the sake of it, but I do think we have a need for reinforcements, otherwise I’m going to have to get my boots on!”
The Exiles will be without injured trio Max Porter, Ben Swallow and Danny Crow this evening but Edinburgh won’t pick his team based on concerns about games ahead.
“It’s a fine balancing act but, ultimately, the next game will always be the one we focus on and prioritise, we aren’t good enough to rest players ahead of the next test,” he said.
“It’s new ground for me, I’ve never known a schedule like this and the only way to judge who is or isn’t going to be physically and mentally up to the task is waiting to see.
“I can’t foresee who will do what but I feel encouraged by the fact we have good cover and competition throughout the spine of the team.”
Edinburgh brushed off suggestions that Mansfield, now eight points clear of County, have an unassailable advantage (the Exiles have played three games less).
“We’ve been here before haven’t we? Two weeks ago when Grimsby were eight points above us and we couldn’t catch them either,” he said. “Now they aren’t certain for the playoffs and it shows you how quickly things can change.
‘Until it’s mathematically impossible I won’t stop targeting the title and my players won’t either.
“And at the moment, if we win all our games, we will be the champions.
“The games in hand aren’t ideal, but it being in our control certainly is.”
- After Saturday’s match postponement the Exiles are appealing to fans to come out in force tonight and are hoping for a crowd of 3,000-plus to cheer them on against in-form Kidderminster.