Tom Naylor fit to face Pompey but Exiles future still uncertain
10:16am Friday 13th December 2013 in Newport County
NEWPORT County AFC loan star Tom Naylor says he should be fit to face Portsmouth this weekend but he’s less certain about where he’ll be playing in 2014, writes Andrew Penman.
The midfielder, on loan from Derby County, looks set to recover from the slight groin strain that forced him off at half-time in Tuesday’s 3-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Peterborough United.
But, with his loan agreement running out on January 6, Naylor admits he could be heading back to his parent club in the Championship in a matter of weeks.
“It was the last minute of the first half and I tried to block a shot and felt something go in my groin,” he said of Tuesday’s injury scare.
“It wasn’t anything serious but I came off as a precaution and hopefully I should be OK for Saturday.
"It’s a big game," he added. "We’ll take a good following down there and it should be a big crowd and a great atmosphere so it would be great to take all three points.
“I’ve trained with the lads and I feel fine so I’m optimistic that I can play if I’m selected.”
Naylor is also optimistic that he still has a future at Pride Park under new Rams manager Steve McClaren.
Exiles boss Justin Edinburgh has stated his desire to extend Naylor’s loan but Naylor is keeping his options open for the time being.
“We’ve talked about it but nothing has been finalised at the minute,” said the 22-year-old.
“I’ve been told I’ve got a clean slate at Derby so I will try to take that with both hands.
“But if that doesn’t work out I’d be delighted to come back here.
“It’s great to hear the manager praising me and saying that he wants to keep me but we’ll see what happens in January.”
Edinburgh told the Argus last week: “Our aim if it was possible would definitely be to keep Tom at this football club long term.
“If possible that wouldn't even be a loan, if we could do it; we would love to bring Tom here permanently.
“He’s enjoying himself and gets on very well with the lads, but he’s not our player, he belongs to Derby County and we have to respect that.”
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