NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn will do everything he can to keep loan star Shawn McCoulsky at the club beyond January.

The striker earned County a point against Mansfield Town on Saturday as he came off the bench to score his fourth goal in 12 days.

McCoulsky’s tally of seven takes him above Padraig Amond on six and Frank Nouble on five and means he has already equalled the club’s top scorer for the whole of last season.

And Flynn admits that the 20-year-old could force his way into the starting XI for the next match at second-placed Notts County.

“Shawn is knocking on the door for a start now,” said the manager.

“He’s scoring for fun now and he was outstanding when he came on.

“He’s the club’s top scorer now and, fair play to him, he works hard and he did well with his back to goal.

“When he got hold of the ball he did really well and I’m delighted for him because he’s a great kid.

“You could say he’s scoring against tiring defences but I don’t think the Southend defence was tired when he scored two down there [in the Carabao Cup in August].

“I’m not going to take any gloss off it; he’s scoring against defenders in League Two and he’s scoring quite regularly at the moment.

“He’s really giving me food for thought.”

McCoulsky is currently due to return to Championship club Bristol City in January but Flynn said he would look to extend his stay in Newport.

“I’d be silly not to, wouldn’t I?” he said.

“I’ll speak to Bristol City. I’ve got a good relationship with [loan manager] Brian Tinnion and [manager] Lee Johnson so I don’t see why not.

“Their player is happy and we’ll go from there.

“If he carries on at this rate he’s going to have 17 or 18 and that would be outstanding. We haven’t had that for a few years.”

McCoulsky’s goal cancelled out Danny Rose’s first-half opener for Mansfield and Flynn felt his side should have gone on to win.

But the point keeps them sixth in the table and the manager is proud of the character and quality his side showed.

“Two wins this week would have put us second in the league but I’ve learned that my team doesn’t give in,” he added.

“I’ve learned that we’ve got some really good quality and if we cut out some silly mistakes then we’re only going to go up the league, not down it.

“I’m made up for them. It was only a draw but it was the manner of the draw.

“The crowd have clapped the boys off and gone away happy because they’ve seen a team dominate there.”

Captain Joss Labadie missed the match but his hamstring injury is not as bad as first thought.

“It’s good news,” said Flynn. “He’s going to be out for a few weeks but I don’t want to put an exact time on it.”