NEWPORT County AFC captain Andy Sandell is targeting a top-ten finish for the Exiles’ second season in League Two and he’s not ruling out a push for the play-offs.
Justin Edinburgh’s men start their campaign at home to Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow, one of Sandell’s former clubs, and the 30-year-old is confident that County can improve on last season’s 14th-place finish.
But after a disappointing second half to 2013/14, the skipper knows that it’s important to get off to a good start this time round if they are to meet their goals.
“We’ve got to be thinking about finishing in the top ten this season, maybe more if we start well and remain consistent,” said Sandell.
“We looked pretty solid at the back in pre-season and the more clean sheets we keep the more points we’ll get.
“And going forward we always look dangerous from set-pieces and we’ve got players who can score goals so we’re pretty confident going into our second season in the Football League.
“The new faces have settled in really well too,” he added. “Kevin Feely was obviously here last season, Darren Jones is a local boy and knows the club well, while Mark Byrne and Yan Klukowski have moved here and look right at home already.
“Yan is in my car school so I’ve taken him under my wing but they’ve all added different attributes to the team and given us things that we needed so we’re in good shape.”
Sandell is looking forward to hosting his former side tomorrow before a big Capital One Cup game at Reading on Tuesday.
“I played for Wycombe a few years back and got promoted from this division to League One with them so it was a good time for me,” he said.
“They struggled last year and only just survived in the end but I know Gareth Ainsworth quite well and he’ll have them fit and flying and all of them wanting to play for him.
“They’ll be a different proposition this time round.
“And going to places like Reading you’re going just to play really,” he added. “There’s no pressure on us so we can go out there and just enjoy the evening.
“Nobody thought we could beat Brighton so everyone will write us off for this one but we’ll be aiming to cause another shock.”