NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh paid tribute to departing director of football Tim Harris but is unsure on replacing him, writes Michael Pearlman.

Harris, 54, left the Exiles this week to return to his hometown club Gloucester City, taking over as manager of the Conference South strugglers.

And Edinburgh admits he’s lost one of his biggest allies at the club.

“Tim was a very, very big support to me, he played a major part in me coming to the football club and I struck up both a very good professional and personal relationship with him,” he said.

“All football decisions were my own, so on that side there is nothing to worry about there, but Tim certainly took a great work load off of myself and others and allowed me to concentrate solely on the football and he’ll be a big loss because he was very good at what he did and we will have to share that load around now.

“But no one is bigger than the club and Tim is included in that.

“What we will do going forward about that role, I do not know.

“I think for now it’s unlikely we will make any moves, Tim filled the role very, very well and it would be tough to replicate that.”

Edinburgh admitted to be ‘unsure’ about working with Harris to begin with.

“I had never worked with a director of football before and didn’t really know what to expect, but I enjoyed the experience and opportunity to work with Tim.

“He’s helped me a lot throughout my time here.

“But I don’t think it’s (replacing Harris) something we will look to worry about, certainly in the short term.”

Edinburgh is relishing today’s tough test against high-flying Scunthorpe, unbeaten since November.

“Every game is tough, a real challenge and this weekend is a really big one, but one we will relish,” he said.

“They have had a great run and are challenging for the title and it’ll be a tough game, for us and for them.”

Edinburgh is hopeful supporters keep their faith in the Exiles despite them losing two on the spin.

“It has been a testing week, as a football club we’ve forgotten how to lose until this spell, which is a good thing, but we need to learn to deal with it better and that is everyone connected with the football club,” he said.

“We’ve had a disappointing week because of the defeats, they were very disappointing and we aren’t reaching the heights and the standards with the performances we are producing that we were before Christmas.

“But I have a total belief in the group and in myself, I have no qualms or doubts we can turn it around, even if it might take a bit longer than we would like.”