NEWPORT County manager Justin Edinburgh has challenged his side to finish strongly after securing possibly their best draw of the season at the weekend.
The Exiles are enduring a miserable 2014 with only two wins from their last 18, but a spirited performance at third-placed Chesterfield was rewarded with an equaliser from Max Porter and a valuable point against a side with the best home defensive record in League Two.
County now face two home games against sides with all to play for, Plymouth Argyle who are still in the hunt for the play-offs visiting Rodney Parade tomorrow night and relegation threatened Wycombe Wanderers heading over the Severn Bridge on Saturday.
But Edinburgh is hoping for the same level of performance that his side managed at the Proact Stadium on Saturday as the Exiles dented the Spireites’ promotion prospects.
“We have back-to-back home games now and we really want to try and turn our home form around,” he said.
“As good as it was at the start of the season, we have had a lot of draws of late and it’d be really nice to get that winning mentality back again at home.
“I think you’ve got to know over the years I won’t let the season just fizzle out without maximum effort, we’ve got over 2,500 people who pay good money to come and watch us.
“We’ve been undone by some good teams of late, but in a high percentage of games this season we’ve given everything we’ve got and that will continue between now and the end of the season.”
The Exiles boss was thrilled not just by the scoring Max Porter but two other long-term injury absentees, Aaron O’Connor and Lenny Pidgeley, who both warmed-up with the team before the game and are both closing in on returns.
“It really is a massive boost to see Aaron O’Connor and Lenny Pidgeley both back out there doing the warm-up with the players, they are two players who when they come back into the fray will give us a massive boost,” he said.
“In terms of the goal, we won’t mind who scores the goals between now and the end of the season, we’ll be happy whoever, but it was brilliant for Max.
“He’s worked tremendously hard, he’s had a lot of set-backs over the early part of the season, but he’s come up with a crucial goal for us and it’s great to see him back in the team.
“It has really had an effect on him, the injury, it was a really complex injury and we didn’t get it right the first time and he was pushed from pillar to post.
“He saw specialists, who perhaps didn’t give him the right treatment, but he’s a good pro and his goal is a little present for him.”