Play-offs may be beyond us, says Exiles boss

APPEAL: Justin Edinburgh has asked fans to be realistic in their expectations for the new season

APPEAL: Justin Edinburgh has asked fans to be realistic in their expectations for the new season

First published in Newport County
Last updated
South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh says his team exceeded expectations last season and the target for the new campaign is to improve on 14th place in League Two.

County continue their pre-season preparations with a friendly at Cirencester Town this afternoon and Edinburgh is happy with his squad’s progress, despite the loss of Max Porter to a groin injury.

But the Exiles boss has warned fans that no club has a divine right to win promotion in what he believes will be a highly competitive division in 2014/2015.

“The squad had a fantastic first season in the Football League – finishing 14th – I don’t think we could have wished for any better than that,” said Edinburgh.

“Now it’s about continuing to grow. It is 25 years since we’ve been in the Football League.

“There are teams that have been in this division for 50 years without being promoted so we don’t have any right to be successful.

“There are a lot of big clubs in this division with the teams coming down and with Luton and Cambridge coming up.

“We have to be realistic and our aim for this season is to finish higher than we did last season.

“That’s going to be tough but with the players we’ve got I feel it’s something we can achieve.”

Edinburgh will take another look at trialists Mark Byrne, Joe Carter, Sheldon Sellears and Jack Simmons today and possibly winger Chris Jones but he is working within a tight budget and trying to contain fans’ expectations.

“From where we’ve come from since I’ve been here, in a short space of time, it means we have to be realistic,” he said.

“We have to continue to progress and build with stability, to improve every year.

“Our budget is a mid-table, if not below, team and we have to be realistic but on the other side of it we’re ambitious and competitive and we want to win every game.”

Can his side mount a challenge for the play-offs? “I don’t think we’re quite there just yet,” said Edinburgh.

“Nobody expected us to do it in the Conference but we have to start well, focus on the first month and take it month by month rather than setting yourself goals that are unrealistic and unachievable.”

One big factor in a disappointing end to last season was the poor state of the Rodney Parade pitch but Edinburgh is hopeful that work over the summer will prevent a repeat this year.

“The club has done everything in their power to correct it and make it a better playing surface for next season,” he said.

“We had a real heavy downpour in Newport the other day and I went on the pitch afterwards and it was dry so I’m very hopeful that we’ve cured the problem.”

Comments (9)

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10:03am Sat 12 Jul 14

ohc says...

This is sad. We now have a manager without a dream. Where does that leave us? How does it motivate the team?

He could afford a squad for promotion if he got rid of three of his non performing strikers and the perpetually injured
This is sad. We now have a manager without a dream. Where does that leave us? How does it motivate the team? He could afford a squad for promotion if he got rid of three of his non performing strikers and the perpetually injured ohc
  • Score: -6

11:54am Sat 12 Jul 14

ex-St. Julians boy says...

I think this is code. What he's really trying to say is that County can't afford promotion and he's breaking it to us gently.
I think this is code. What he's really trying to say is that County can't afford promotion and he's breaking it to us gently. ex-St. Julians boy
  • Score: -1

12:53pm Sat 12 Jul 14

COUNTYVOICE says...

nice to see justin setting achievable goals next season , anything that happens above that is an achievement.

it is about managing expectations. i would prefer to watch a county that is competitive in every thing game even if the result is averse. its the effort and commitment county fans want. to be entertained by a good game of football.

also i want a more consistent achievement of points over a season . not first half promotion form then second half relegation form

consistency is what im trying to say. somebody questioned the need to retain players who are constantly getting injured. and from purely business sense someone who is constantly on the injury table and not in the side playing is a liabliity. but a wider picture view has to be taken in the sense of is that persistent groin strain likely to recur over and over again.

there is no room for sentiment in football unfortunately as it has turned into a results based business.

but as long as the pitch holds up , we dont have a tonn of injuries and o connor stays fit , then it should be a memorable season
nice to see justin setting achievable goals next season , anything that happens above that is an achievement. it is about managing expectations. i would prefer to watch a county that is competitive in every thing game even if the result is averse. its the effort and commitment county fans want. to be entertained by a good game of football. also i want a more consistent achievement of points over a season . not first half promotion form then second half relegation form consistency is what im trying to say. somebody questioned the need to retain players who are constantly getting injured. and from purely business sense someone who is constantly on the injury table and not in the side playing is a liabliity. but a wider picture view has to be taken in the sense of is that persistent groin strain likely to recur over and over again. there is no room for sentiment in football unfortunately as it has turned into a results based business. but as long as the pitch holds up , we dont have a tonn of injuries and o connor stays fit , then it should be a memorable season COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 8

1:36pm Sat 12 Jul 14

County says...

ex-St. Julians boy wrote:
I think this is code. What he's really trying to say is that County can't afford promotion and he's breaking it to us gently.
Promotion would mean more money, what we can't afford is a squad that will get us promotion.
[quote][p][bold]ex-St. Julians boy[/bold] wrote: I think this is code. What he's really trying to say is that County can't afford promotion and he's breaking it to us gently.[/p][/quote]Promotion would mean more money, what we can't afford is a squad that will get us promotion. County
  • Score: 2

2:09pm Sat 12 Jul 14

b3talover says...

County WILL be relegated. It's unfortunate, but true. We haven't spent nearly enough to stay in the division. Our form was poor towards the end of last season and we have some mercenaries in the squad that wouldn't get into most conference sides. We need to strengthen our poor defence immediately. League 2 sides have worked us out now and will float balls in from the wings for 90 minutes. I don't want to sound like a doomonger, but why can't anyone else see this?
County WILL be relegated. It's unfortunate, but true. We haven't spent nearly enough to stay in the division. Our form was poor towards the end of last season and we have some mercenaries in the squad that wouldn't get into most conference sides. We need to strengthen our poor defence immediately. League 2 sides have worked us out now and will float balls in from the wings for 90 minutes. I don't want to sound like a doomonger, but why can't anyone else see this? b3talover
  • Score: -9

6:12pm Sat 12 Jul 14

luckylecky says...

I seem to remember that County's season took a nose dive after players like Pipe and Flynn were told they would no longer be required. This was midway through the season and instigated by Edinburgh. Now he writes off this seasons team without a ball being kicked. The manager has no idea of man management and is a doommonger. He is already protecting his a**e, so why is he still with the club. Is it the County that has a lack of ambition, or is it the manager ? Remember he has brought in this seasons players, if they dont measure up Why has he employed them ?
I seem to remember that County's season took a nose dive after players like Pipe and Flynn were told they would no longer be required. This was midway through the season and instigated by Edinburgh. Now he writes off this seasons team without a ball being kicked. The manager has no idea of man management and is a doommonger. He is already protecting his a**e, so why is he still with the club. Is it the County that has a lack of ambition, or is it the manager ? Remember he has brought in this seasons players, if they dont measure up Why has he employed them ? luckylecky
  • Score: -5

8:25pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Pianoman42 says...

Justin is doing a Mourinho and understating his hopes. Lower the expectations, and just play each game as it comes. Time will tell. Let's see where we are after the first 23 games..........:)
Justin is doing a Mourinho and understating his hopes. Lower the expectations, and just play each game as it comes. Time will tell. Let's see where we are after the first 23 games..........:) Pianoman42
  • Score: 7

8:05am Sun 13 Jul 14

AMBERLING says...

The calibre of signings he's made and retaining most of the squad, who've struggled to win games around and after the last two Christmas periods, tells the tale. We've not got the finances to pursue anything more than what he's offering, I'm afraid, anything more could be seen as a bonus !
We all want to hear him saying that we'll be pushing for promotion, it's what keeps us fans in the lower divisions going, but he's being realistic and honest. He knows what he's got to work with and doesn't want to put pressure and expectation on himself or the players.
Unfortunately, this can come across as negativity or lack of ambition from the club and manager, so I hope it doesn't deter some who may think their ticket money could be better spent elsewhere. Attendances are key to how a club finances itself these days and we need to be encouraging more into the ground if we are to have realistic ambitions to progress further. So please keep coming, no matter what, and let's build the club up to be able to achieve our dreams in the future.
The calibre of signings he's made and retaining most of the squad, who've struggled to win games around and after the last two Christmas periods, tells the tale. We've not got the finances to pursue anything more than what he's offering, I'm afraid, anything more could be seen as a bonus ! We all want to hear him saying that we'll be pushing for promotion, it's what keeps us fans in the lower divisions going, but he's being realistic and honest. He knows what he's got to work with and doesn't want to put pressure and expectation on himself or the players. Unfortunately, this can come across as negativity or lack of ambition from the club and manager, so I hope it doesn't deter some who may think their ticket money could be better spent elsewhere. Attendances are key to how a club finances itself these days and we need to be encouraging more into the ground if we are to have realistic ambitions to progress further. So please keep coming, no matter what, and let's build the club up to be able to achieve our dreams in the future. AMBERLING
  • Score: 4

10:06am Sun 13 Jul 14

Sing up for the amber boys says...

He's being realistic. Some of you morons need to wind your necks in.
He's being realistic. Some of you morons need to wind your necks in. Sing up for the amber boys
  • Score: 3

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