Title hope is still alive, says County boss
STOCKPORT v COUNTY (Saturday, KO 3pm)
NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh is refusing to write off his side’s chances of winning the Conference despite Tuesday’s devastating defeat to title rivals Kidderminster Harriers.
After dominating the match County were hit by a sucker punch deep into stoppage time as Kiddy’s Chey Dunkley scored to seal all three points for the visitors.
Kidderminster are now top of the Blue Square Bet Premier table with the Exiles eight points behind with four games in hand.
With tonight’s rearranged match against Gateshead in York postponed once again due to a waterlogged pitch at Bootham Crescent they will have to wait until Saturday’s trip to Stockport County to bounce back.
But Edinburgh is urging his players to put any disappointment behind them quickly.
“It’s extremely difficult to take, I couldn’t have asked more of the players who were excellent on a difficult pitch against an extremely in-form team,” he said.
“I’m certainly very proud of my players.
“They’re down but there is a long way to go and the level of performance will take us far.
“We just need to keep going, chalking off as many wins as we can with the same spirit and style we showed against Kidderminster. We created so many chances and normally we’d get more goals and we have the chance to put it right straight away, we must put Kidderminster aside and the next game becomes our most important.”
Edinburgh will be without midfielder Mike Flynn for the next few games after he suffered an abductor muscle injury on Tuesday.
“I don’t think he has a chance to play at Stockport on Saturday, I think we are looking at a couple of weeks if not longer and that’s a real downer for us,” said the Exiles boss.
“But we’ll utilise the squad now and everyone will get a chance.”
County clinched the signing of right-back Michael Boateng this week and with injuries to Flynn, Max Porter, Danny Crow and Ben Swallow, Edinburgh may be forced to add more players before the emergency loan deadline on March 28.
“I’m not sure,” said Edinburgh. “We didn’t have firm plans in place apart from Michael Boateng but we’ll assess it, we’ve had one or two things in mind but have to add quality.
“If everyone is fit there is no need to do anything but if we continue to pick up injuries it’s something we need to look at.”
Boateng goes straight into the squad for Saturday’s match and with Flynn ruled out he could come in at right-wing back, allowing captain David Pipe to move into midfield.
“He is a young lad with a bright future ahead of him, he gives us cover for David Pipe and I’m sure he’ll play his part,” added Edinburgh. “I will have to juggle my squad.
“We were disappointed to not take any points against Kidderminster but I know they didn’t let me down.
“In a way it feels worse than being beaten soundly and deservedly, but we must turn the negative into a positive.”
- The club has announced that season ticket prices will be frozen for the 2013/14 campaign, regardless of which division they are competing in.
There will also be a special ‘Early Bird’ discount on tickets purchased before May 3.