NEWPORT County AFC defender Ismail Yakubu is desperate to pile on the misery for his old club AFC Wimbledon tonight.
The Dons have scored just one goal in losing four out of four in a fruitless February and will be looking over their shoulders at the League Two relegation zone if County can make it five out of five tonight.
Yakubu is proud to have played his part in the AFC Wimbledon fairytale along with fellow Exiles Max Porter, Lee Minshull and Christian Jolley but there will be no sentimentality today.
County need to secure three points to keep their play-off hopes alive following Saturday’s home defeat to Cheltenham Town.
“It’s obviously a very big game for us now and even more so for me because I had a lot of good years at the club and I’m looking forward to facing them,” said Yakubu.
“There are one or two players left from my time there and it’ll be good to see them but more importantly it’s a chance for us to bounce back and get another three points on the board.
“They’re doing OK for themselves. They would have hoped to be doing better but it’s going to be another tough test for us.
“We’ve got to make sure we are firing on all cylinders to get a win.”
That was definitely not the case at Rodney Parade on Saturday and Yakubu was in no mood to make excuses for a poor display.
“We didn’t score and we conceded against the run of play, simple as that,” said the 28-year-old.
“We wanted to keep the run going and it was very disappointing not being able to take the performance against Oxford into Saturday.
“But fair play to Cheltenham; they defended really well on the day and we weren’t good enough to get anything out of the game.
“Maybe the pitch was a factor but the bottom line is that we’re paid professionals and regardless of problems with the pitch we have to do better.
“They had to deal with it as well and we can’t use that as an excuse.”
Yakubu says County need to see the sand-covered surface as a positive from now on.
“It’s obviously not in great condition so we need to start using the pitch to our advantage,” he said.
“We know what we can do. We’re a good enough side to win the majority of our games and we weren’t good enough on Saturday.
“It’s a tight league but there’s nothing to fear and the only thing holding us back is ourselves.
“We weren’t quick enough in our decision making and that allowed Cheltenham to solidify and keep us out of their box.
“We need to buck up our ideas if we’re going to get anything against Wimbledon.”