County could face striker crisis at Portsmouth

GROIN STRAIN: Chris Zebroski

GROIN STRAIN: Chris Zebroski

First published in Newport County
Last updated
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NEWPORT County could face a striker crisis when they travel to Fratton Park on Saturday, writes Michael Pearlman.

The Exiles appeared in rude health at the start of the campaign with seven forwards to pick from, but they might be down to the bare bones for the daunting trip to face Portsmouth.

The Blues are unbeaten in the league over 12 games since Andy Awford took charge last season and are considered by the bookies as the second favourites to win League Two this term.

And Newport may well have to do it the hard way on Saturday with four strikers potentially missing.

Long-term absentees Danny Crow and Rene Howe, who last week ruptured a thigh muscle, are definitely missing while both Chris Zebroski (groin) and Aaron O’Connor (dead leg) are expected to face late fitness tests. Neither player has been able to train so far this week.

Even if both players are fit, boss Edinburgh is unlikely to risk them both and that could mean a first league start for striker Shaun Jeffers, with Christian Jolley and Joe Parker also hopeful on an opportunity to impress.

“Shaun is in our thinking anyway, I think he deserves his chance, he made a good impression on Saturday and he scored at Reading.

“We might think about freshening the frontline up on Saturday anyway to make sure we are getting full use of the squad.”

O’Connor, who spent 10 months on the sidelines with a groin injury, admits his heart goes out to striker Howe.

“I sent him a message just to say keep your head up,” said O’Connor.

“Obviously he’s got people here who have been through the same thing so he’ll be around the right people.

“I haven’t seen him since it happened but I’m sure he’ll be alright.

“It’s a shame for him because this is the best I’ve seen him,” he added.

“I’ve played with him before and this is the best shape he’s been in.

“He had a good pre-season and I think he would have been important for us and had a good season so I’m disappointed for him.”

Comments (7)

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6:47pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Sing up for the amber boys says...

Not necessarily bad news - I think Azza and Zeb were looking blunt as a pairing in any case. Great opportunity for Jeffers, Jolley and Parker - let's hope one of them grabs it
Not necessarily bad news - I think Azza and Zeb were looking blunt as a pairing in any case. Great opportunity for Jeffers, Jolley and Parker - let's hope one of them grabs it Sing up for the amber boys
  • Score: 6

8:52pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Roland Thompson-Gunner says...

It doesn't amount to a crisis by any stretch of the imagination. Managers always use the local press for disinformation on injuries anyway.
It doesn't amount to a crisis by any stretch of the imagination. Managers always use the local press for disinformation on injuries anyway. Roland Thompson-Gunner
  • Score: -2

9:40pm Thu 28 Aug 14

ohc says...

From where I sit, we've had a striker crisis for the last year. The don't score
From where I sit, we've had a striker crisis for the last year. The don't score ohc
  • Score: 4

11:11pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Rubble4 says...

At last an opportunity for someone else to hopefully score us some goals in our seemingly shy front line at the mo.Up the county
At last an opportunity for someone else to hopefully score us some goals in our seemingly shy front line at the mo.Up the county Rubble4
  • Score: -1

11:49pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Frankfurt says...

County have more strikers than Arthur Scargill. Shouldn't be a big problem.
County have more strikers than Arthur Scargill. Shouldn't be a big problem. Frankfurt
  • Score: -2

8:26am Fri 29 Aug 14

John Frost Lives says...

lot of time for Edo, but tbh, surely we gotta try jeffers or parker. we aren't big or rich enough to have too many players on our books for players for the future, we need one for now! 7 strikers and a couple of goals is not a good record...still well worried about this season, like to see some loan youngsters from higher up the divisions, like Osh last season, to turn our season around.
lot of time for Edo, but tbh, surely we gotta try jeffers or parker. we aren't big or rich enough to have too many players on our books for players for the future, we need one for now! 7 strikers and a couple of goals is not a good record...still well worried about this season, like to see some loan youngsters from higher up the divisions, like Osh last season, to turn our season around. John Frost Lives
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

Zeb is a proven scorer in league 2 and will come good. Azza needs a run of games to find out if he can do it in League 2. Parker will take time to make such a big step up. The rest of the strikers have had their chances with County and other clubs - they aren't good enough for league 2.
Zeb is a proven scorer in league 2 and will come good. Azza needs a run of games to find out if he can do it in League 2. Parker will take time to make such a big step up. The rest of the strikers have had their chances with County and other clubs - they aren't good enough for league 2. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 4
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