NEWPORT County AFC defender Mickey Demetriou admits he couldn’t complain if he was dropped for today’s home clash with Grimsby Town but he’s hoping manager Michael Flynn gives him the chance to put things right.

Flynn tore into his players after the 2-1 defeat at Morecambe last week and Demetriou says the boss was right to be angered by the team’s display.

And he knows that he and his teammates have to respond in the right way with an improved performance and three points on their return to Rodney Parade.

“We weren’t surprised by the manager’s reaction because all the players were as mad as him anyway,” said Demetriou.

“We know that we’re better than that and we have to take the criticism on the chin.

“I know myself I didn’t play that well and I’ve apologised to the gaffer.

“I demand higher standards of myself and hopefully I get the chance to put it right.”

Demetriou is aware that he cannot take his starting spot for granted.

“This year we’ve got good competition for places everywhere around the pitch,” he added.

“Everyone is good enough to play in the team and once you get in the team you’ve got to work hard to make sure you keep your spot.

“The gaffer said last Saturday that he would have made eight changes at half-time if he could and he could make eight changes today.

“Hopefully it just encourages him to play people that deserve to play.”

Demetriou revealed that the players have endured a tough week on the training ground in the build-up to today’s clash with the Mariners.

“It was a tough training session on Tuesday,” said the 27-year-old.

“I think he took all his anger out on us. It was hard but it was a good session.

“We’ve worked hard this week and we go again and hopefully it’s a different outcome.

“Nobody saw that coming [at Morecambe]. We’ve played well this year and hopefully it was just a blip – an off game.

“We can’t dwell on it. We don’t dwell on wins and we don’t dwell on losses.

“We’ve got to take what positives there were out of that game and take them into the game against Grimsby.”

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Flynn, who hopes to welcome back Mark O’Brien and Joss Labadie from injury, says there will be changes.

“I’ll be picking a team that I think can go and win us the football match,” said the Exiles boss.

“I’ve moved players around already this season and rotated players when I felt they needed a rest.

“So I wouldn’t say players will be dropped, I’m just picking a team to win the football match.

“It’s League Two; you’re going to have off days,” he added.

“It was just the manner of the defeat [at Morecambe]. We weren’t at the races.

“When you have two or three off their game you might be able to get away with a draw or sneak a win but when there’s seven or eight off their game it’s a tough challenge and that’s what I was disappointed with.”

But, despite his harsh words last week, Flynn is backing his team to respond in the right way today.

“The boys have been brilliant on the whole and I’ll always back them,” he said.

“I’ll always be on their side but we know as a team, and I’ll include myself and my staff in that, that we weren’t good enough at Morecambe.

“It was the worst performance since I’ve been in charge.

“We let our standards slip and it wasn’t good enough for us as a football club or the fans that travelled up.

“And the players need to know that sometimes.

“I’ve never done that before. I’ve never needed to do it.

“But the boys have been outstanding and we’ve had a chat about it this week.

“The players agree with what I said and what I said in the press was nothing that I hadn’t said to them after the game.

“If I have anything to say my players will always be the first ones to know.

“I think they needed to see the different sides to me, that I have got it in my locker to give them a rollicking,” he added.

“It’s been quite a successful period up to now, including last season when we were on a winning streak, so it was just a reminder that we’ve got standards and I don’t want us to fall below those standards.”