It's tough to leave skipper out, admits Exiles boss
LEAVING club captain David Pipe out of the starting XI has been one of the toughest decisions of his time at Newport County AFC, says manager Justin Edinburgh.
Pipe looks set to watch from the sidelines again today as County take on Southend United with Ryan Jackson likely to continue at right wing-back.
Like many of his teammates, the skipper had a poor game in the 3-0 defeat at Rochdale two weeks ago and was ill for last week’s 3-0 home win over York City.
Jackson impressed against the Minstermen and kept his place ahead of fit-again Pipe for Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Plymouth Argyle, where he put in a man of the match performance.
“It’s a huge decision,” said Edinburgh on not selecting his inspirational captain. “Every time I leave him out it’s a big decision for myself and for the team because he’s a fantastic leader and he’s a very infectious person.
“He’s done a fantastic job for me since I’ve been here, not only as a player but as a captain. It was tough to leave him out on Tuesday and it will be another big call this weekend.
“He was ill last Saturday but he was fit on Tuesday. I made the decision and it proved to be the right one because Ryan was excellent.
“Ryan has been superb every time he’s played for us,” added the Exiles boss. “It’s tough for him because he’s had to come in and fill some big boots.
“But he’s done that very well and I’m really pleased for him because he’s had to be patient but the last two games he’s played he’s been top drawer.”
Edinburgh says he could move Pipe into midfield if he needed to.
“It’s never a problem. He’s always been a midfield player,” he said. “He’s capable of playing anywhere like most players and if I feel he’s needed in another role we’ll do that.”
For his part Jackson is just happy to be playing in what he considers his natural position.
“It’s good to get a start in my position and I just want to do well and help the team,” said the 23-year-old.
“You’ve just got to be patient when you’re not in the team and when you do get your chance you have to try to impress.”
And having enjoyed his first start at Rodney Parade last week Jackson is relishing today’s clash with the Shrimpers.
“The fans really get behind you and it was a good experience,” he said.
“It’s like a 12th man for us really. They’re a lot more vocal than other fans and I think it means more for them.
“When I was at Macclesfield they didn’t really make that much noise but the Newport fans are loud.
“We’ve done well at home. We start fast, try to put the opposition under the cosh, and hopefully we can get another three points against Southend.”
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