VETERAN Morecambe striker Kevin Ellison has often been the scourge of Newport County AFC sides in the past – and Michael Flynn insists he isn’t still playing “to make up the numbers”.

Exiles boss Flynn and 38-year-old Scouser Ellison are friends who have crossed paths numerous times during their careers.

The two are set to lock horns again today when County head north to the Globe Arena in League Two (kick-off 3pm) with a top-three spot in their sights.

According to Flynn, Shrimps forward Ellison is an “absolute clown” but “in the nicest way”, as well as a “handful” and a “pain” to play against.

However, the Rodney Parade chief also knows how important his experience and goals are to Jim Bentley’s men, who sit 20th after one win and three draws so far this season.

“I know their players, they’ve got an honest core, and a team who don’t take losing very lightly,” said Flynn.

“It’s a tough place to go but the other 22 teams have got to go there as well, we just hope we get the right result.”

On Ellison, he continued: “He loves it. He’s an absolute clown in the nicest way.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Kev, he’s a great lad, and he’s still scoring goals at 38, and he looks after himself. But he wants to win and he doesn’t care how he does it.

“He’ll wind up the opposition, he’ll wind up the fans, he’ll do whatever to get in people’s heads.

“We’ve just got to be bigger and ignore that because he is very good at what he does. He’s a good player, he’s 38 and in great condition, and he is still scoring goals – he’s not just there to make up the numbers.

“He’s a handful, he’s a pain, and he’s a good finisher, so he’s somebody that we’ll need to watch.”

Flynn also has a lot of respect for Morecambe manager Bentley, and knows his deputy Ken McKenna well.

He added: “There are no easy games in League Two this season, as much as people say that the big clubs, or so-called big clubs, like Plymouth and Doncaster have gone.

“Every game is going to be a tough one and if you’re not up for the battle and earn the right to play, it’s going to be a really tough afternoon.

“Jim Bentley has done a fantastic job there. He’s been there quite a while now and has always built a competitive squad.

“They seem to tail off at the end of seasons, I don’t know what that’s down to, but they’re always a tough team to beat.

“On their day they can beat anybody so we’ve got to make sure that we don’t let them get into their stride and we’re on the front foot from the first minute.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Jim, he’s an honest guy, as is Ken, who I’ve known for a long time from when I was at Barry Town and he was at TNS.”