NEWPORT County AFC striker Padraig Amond admits that the pressure is on to perform as a result of super-sub Shawn McCoulsky’s impressive form.

McCoulsky has netted in each of the past four games to overtake Amond and fellow front man Frank Nouble as County’s top scorer with seven goals from just 11 appearances.

And manager Michael Flynn must now decide whether to stick with his regular front two, leave one out to accommodate McCoulsky or to play all three at Notts County today.

“He’s putting an awful lot of pressure on us,” said Amond when asked about the 20-year-old loan star.

“He’s been excellent in the last few weeks and he’s scored four in his last four games.

“Since the Swansea game in the Checkatrade Trophy when he scored you could see his confidence build from then.

“But he’s been brilliant since I’ve come here. He’s been working hard in training and he’s been doing everything he can whenever he gets a chance on the pitch.”

Amond says McCoulsky’s form is a good for the whole team and for Exiles boss Flynn.

“It’s great to have pressure like that around the squad because it’s the same in midfield and at the back and it just goes to show that the manager has recruited really well,” he said.

“If someone is having a bad game then there is someone there to come on and make an impact.

“Maybe in previous years the club hasn’t had that and it’s something very good for the manager to have.

“It’s going to be a headache for him but I’m sure he’d rather have that headache than have nobody scoring.”

Today’s League Two clash at Meadow Lane will inevitably revive memories of the final day of last season when Flynn’s men completed the Great Escape from relegation with a 2-1 victory over the Magpies.

South Wales Argus:

Mark O’Brien’s last-gasp winner (above) made him an instant Exiles legend but Amond does not remember that day so fondly.

The Irishman, who joined the club in August, was playing for Hartlepool United against Doncaster Rovers and O’Brien’s goal condemned Pools to relegation.

“We were told that Notts County had scored again after Mark’s goal so we thought we were safe,” he recalled.

“It was only in the 95th minute when Doncaster had a corner that one of the fans shouted out ‘the game’s over at Rodney Parade, Newport have won – you’re down’.

“It was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had in my life – to go from thinking ‘if we defend this corner we’re safe’ to 10 seconds later finding out we were relegated.

“It worked out OK in the end for me but it was not a nice moment.

“I don’t know how Mark ever scored that goal because some of his finishing in training is not the best,” he joked.

“It’s weird because it’s the only goal he’s ever scored [in the Football League] but, even if he scores another 100 goals, no goal will ever be as important as that goal.”

Amond added: “It was an amazing achievement for the lads to stay up last year.

“When the manager took over they were dead and buried, basically, but they just went on an amazing run.

“And when Newport came in for me in the summer I didn’t look at it as they only stayed up on the last day of the season.

“I just looked at the manager’s record. He got the best out of the lads and won a ridiculous amount of games.

“And I think we have the same amount of points now as they did when the manager took over in March.

“That just goes to show how good a manager he is and how good he is at getting the best out of the players.”