Edinburgh eyes repeat performance by players and fans
6:02am Tuesday 4th March 2014 in Newport County
NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh feels Saturday’s benchmark first half performance against Scunthorpe combined with the support of the best fans in the country can re-ignite the Exiles’ promotion ambitions.
County are down to 11th in League Two after collecting just one point from their last nine, but they are also merely seven points off the play-off places with three games in hand.
The first of these, tonight against direct rivals Fleetwood Town, could potentially see County move to within striking distance of stuttering Southend and Burton Albion.
Newport’s board of directors have done their bit by announcing the reduced pricing for the game and with an extra 500 tickets already sold, Edinburgh is expecting a bumper crowd.
And all he is looking for tonight is for County’s players and fans to match their efforts from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Scunthorpe.
“The crowd were magnificent on Saturday, to a man they stuck with us even when we went 2-1 behind and they truly are different class, unlike any I’ve encountered before in football,” he said.
“Even in midweek (when County lost to Wimbledon) it wasn’t even a handful getting on our backs; it was one or two individuals.
“Our fans set a benchmark on Saturday with how well they supported their team and in the first half; the players set a benchmark with their performance.
“We have to try and replicate that going forward, because with that work-rate and with our fans, few teams are going to be able to live with us here at Rodney Parade.”
County have no fresh injury worries ahead of tonight’s clash, but Edinburgh doesn’t expect to necessarily name an unchanged line-up.
“What people have to remember, is that currently Max (Porter), Byron (Anthony), Zeb (Chris Zebroski) and Rene (Howe) are for all intents and purposes doing their pre-season,” he said.
“We don’t have any new injury worries, which is excellent, but we also have to think about fatigue and the potential to overuse someone and risk them picking up a niggle.
“We will monitor the players very carefully.”
Edinburgh is confident everyone has moved on from the announcement last week that David Pipe and Mike Flynn wouldn’t be offered contracts for next season.
“When you are losing games, these rumours and conspiracy theories tend to get magnified,” he said.
“But as I’ve explained, it was nothing more than my choice and me wanting to be honest and fair with the players themselves and with our fans.
“Both players are still available for selection, as you saw,” (Flynn was on the bench on Saturday).
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