NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn has defended his decision to make eight changes to his team for last night’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Forest Green Rovers.

County could have earned £10,000 for a win and £5,000 for a draw at The New Lawn but Flynn is focusing on League Two and Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash at Exeter City.

With several players carrying slight injury concerns and others in need of a rest, the Exiles boss took the chance to look at some fringe players and he does not regret that decision.

“It’s never nice when you lose a football match but I think the best team won,” admitted Flynn.

“I’d still do the same again because I need to look at the bigger picture.

“I’ve got to make sure the boys are prepared for Saturday because I’d say if we go and win [at Exeter] then the next home game is going to be worth more than £10,000 with the extra fans coming over.”

Flynn also says he learned a lot about the strength in depth in his squad, or lack of it.

“I needed to give boys minutes and it told me a few things that I needed to know,” he said. “They didn’t do as well as I thought they were going to do.

“I knew the risks of what could potentially happen but there were some positives,” he added.

“A lot of players got some minutes under their belt, Ben Tozer being one of them, so it was good.”

South Wales Argus:

Captain Joss Labadie, defender Mark O’Brien and forwards Shawn McCoulsky and Lamar Reynolds all missed Tuesday due to injury, while goalkeeper Joe Day and centre-back Mickey Demetriou were amongst those to be rested.

“Shawn, Lamar and Joss were out with knocks and I thought Mickey needed a night off, especially with him having a newborn,” the manager explained.

“I’ve got to see how James Bittner can handle it [in goal] if something happens to Joe and a little bit of freshness [for Day] will be good.”

O’Brien was not risked after being withdrawn against Chesterfield due to a tight hamstring, while David Pipe came off with a knock at Forest Green but Flynn is hopeful that everyone will be fit for Saturday’s trip to St James Park.

Flynn is expecting a quiet transfer deadline day tomorrow.

"I’m probably done for people coming in," he said. "There might be one or two going out."