MANAGER Justin Edinburgh says Newport County AFC can learn from tomorrow’s opponents York City as they look to mount a promotion challenge next season, writes Andrew Penman.
York were promoted to League Two via the Conference play-offs a week after beating County in the FA Trophy final in May 2012.
Like the Exiles this season the Minstermen initially seemed to adapt well to life back in the Football League.
But a disastrous post-Christmas run eventually saw them just survive relegation on 55 points – the same total that County have this season following a similarly poor run in 2014.
This campaign has been a different story, however, with Nigel Worthington’s men assured of a play-off place if they beat County at Bootham Crescent tomorrow and Edinburgh is keen to follow their example.
“York stayed up by four points last season and now it looks like they’ll be in the play-offs so it is something to emulate,” said the Exiles boss.
“They’re a year ahead of us in terms of their development and establishing themselves but you’ve got to have goals and they way York have performed this season is something we will strive to achieve next year.”
The pressure will be on the hosts on Saturday but Edinburgh says he has no concerns about his side’s motivation.
“We want to try to remain unbeaten until the end of the season and we’ve got two really tough games but good games to be involved in,” he said ahead of the trip to York and next week’s final game at home to third-placed Rochdale.
“There’s no problem with motivation; they’re full time professional footballers and they have a duty to me, to the club and to themselves to be motivated.
“We owe it to the fans as well because people pay good money to watch us and we want to repay them for that.
“It’s a challenge and one that we relish,” he added. “Our forward players are starting to get back to where they were earlier in the season.
“We’ve got plenty of firepower and York will have to be at their best to keep us out.”
Rene Howe is available again after recovering from a knee problem and Tom Naylor should shake off an ankle injury to feature.
But Danny Crow (back) has joined Byron Anthony, Ismail Yakubu and Jamie Stephens in being ruled out for the remainder of the season.