MIDFIELDER Ben Tozer is delighted to finally be playing without pain and he’d desperate to help Newport County AFC get over the agony of last week’s defeat at Luton Town.

County host Yeovil Town at Rodney Parade this afternoon aiming to bounce back from that 3-1 reverse at Kenilworth Road last Saturday.

It’s been a long week for the Exiles players to lick their wounds with no midweek match and Tozer is keen to make up for lost time as an individual and as part of the team.

“Everyone wants to get back at it,” said the 27-year-old, who moved to Newport from Yeovil in the summer of 2016.

“When you lose a game you want to correct the result straight away.

“Not being able to do that on Tuesday was frustrating but we have to use it as a positive; we’ve had a week of training together and we can regroup and go again.”

Last Saturday was a disappointing day for Michael Flynn’s men but on a personal level for Tozer just being out on the pitch on a regular basis is progress after a frustrating 12 months.

Last October, the former Newcastle United player was being lauded as a “Championship player” by then-County boss Graham Westley.

But the relationship between player and manager soon soured and Tozer did not play a league match between January 7 and September 2 this year.

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A serious knee injury was also a major factor in his eight months on the sidelines but Tozer is now fully recovered and has re-established himself in the centre of the Exiles midfield.

“I’ve played the last four 90 minutes, which is good,” he said.

“I feel good, I’ve got no pain whatsoever and I’m covering a lot of ground.

“Looking at the stats to see how far I’ve run I’m always pretty much up there and I’m pleased.

“I just want to carry on playing, keep getting wins and build from there.

“Having no worry of any pain is great,” he added.

“People wouldn’t know but I played for a couple of months in pain.

“I was training every day in pain and playing in pain and it puts doubt in your mind.

“Even a simple thing like kicking the ball, because the pain was in my standing leg when I planted my foot I kind of felt I couldn’t take the weight of my body.

“It was in my head and it was massive.”

Tozer revealed that he even hid the extent of his problems from his teammates last season.

“You don’t want to show any sign of weakness because someone will automatically take advantage of that,” he said.

“You don’t want to tell your teammates because in training they’ll try to get one over on you and try to make you do things that you’re uncomfortable doing.

“So for that to be gone is massive.

“It’s definitely a sense of freedom and just to be normal is nice.”

Tozer is not keen to talk about his disagreements with Westley, preferring to look to the future under Flynn.

“It’s part of life; if you’re happy off the pitch, you’re happy on the pitch,” he said.

“It does go hand in hand. It’s an enjoyable place to be at the moment.

“I think it definitely affected me last season.

“It’s not nice to talk about negative spells in your life. You want to forget about them and build on the positives and that’s what I’m trying to do.

“I’ve come back, I’ve worked my way back from injury and now I’ve worked my way into the team.

“I feel like I’m playing well and I’ve just got to carry on building from there really. I just need a few goals now!”

Tozer would love to score against his former club today but he’s expecting a tough test against Darren Way’s men.

“I always look forward to playing against old teammates and managers,” he added.

“It won’t be easy by any means. I know Darren well and he’ll have them organised and well drilled and they’ll know exactly what our weaknesses are.

"They will play to their strengths and it will be a good game.

"Fair play to him, I think on the budget they’ve got there he does a very good job."