Exiles in contract talks with Conor Washington and Andrew Hughes
NEWPORT County AFC have begun talks with in-form youngsters Conor Washington and Andrew Hughes over new deals to ward off potential suitors.
The pair have caught the eye as injury-hit County have got to grips with life in League Two and manager Justin Edinburgh is aware that bigger clubs will be looking at his players.
Both will start against Torquay United at Rodney Parade tomorrow afternoon and Washington in particular will be a marked man after his fantastic display in last week’s 2-0 win at Exeter City.
The 21-year-old striker, signed from lowly St Ives Town on October 1 last year, scored the first goal and made the second at St. James' Park and Edinburgh is predicting a big future for the former postman.
“I think his progression has accelerated beyond where I thought he would be at this stage and I think he can go as far as he wants,” said the Exiles boss.
“He’s got raw talent and the pleasing thing is that he’s hungry to learn.
“He’s making up for lost time because this time last year he was a postman.
“He can be a top player and I think there will be scouts that look at all levels and he will start to hit people’s radar.
“We are in a position where it would take something serious to let him go right now,” he added.
“I think him and Andrew Hughes deserve great credit for their performances and both will take some dislodging from the team at the moment.
“Conor’s contracted to the end of this season and we’ve got the option of another year.
“And we’re in the early stages of talking about extending Conor and Andrew’s contracts.”
Washington will continue up front with top scorer Chris Zebroski as fellow strikers Christian Jolley and Aaron O’Connor continue to recover from their respective groin injuries.
“What Conor’s form has allowed us to do is not rush players back too soon,” said Edinburgh.
“You see people back in training and you’re tempted to throw them in straight away but we’ve learned from Max Porter coming back maybe too soon.
“But we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with the injuries,” he added.
“Christian has been out jogging and Aaron took part in training this week and completed the session on Thursday so we are progressing.
“Max is working tremendously hard to strengthen his groin and we look like we’re progressing there as well and Byron Anthony is seeing a specialist to have an X-Ray so we’re hopeful that we will get good news from that.
“We want them all back as soon as possible but we won’t rush anything because we’ve shown we have the squad to cope.”
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