DAVID Pipe hopes to be fit to face Walsall at the weekend as Newport County AFC start their FA Cup campaign.

The defender missed the 3-0 defeat at Notts County due to illness but he will be desperate to play in the world’s oldest cup competition.

“I’m happy to be at home,” said Pipe, who will celebrate his 34th birthday on Sunday.

“I’ve been lucky enough to get into the last-eight with Bristol Rovers and it is magical.”

Pipe was part of the Rovers side that made it to the quarter-finals in 2008, when they eventually lost 5-1 to Championship club West Bromwich Albion.

He has never made it beyond the second round with County but he’s hoping for a good run this season and a big crowd at Rodney Parade this Saturday evening (kick-off 5.15pm).

“You can say all the clichéd things in the world about it but obviously we’ll have a big crowd here,” Pipe told iFollow Exiles.

“It’ll be a slightly different scenario – it’ll be a very good atmosphere and hopefully we can go on a run in the cup as well.

“Having said that, for me personally, every game is the same regardless of what cup it is in.

“Whether it’s the league, FA Cup, any other sort of cup, attitude wise you go into it with the same mentality and that is to win.

“The FA Cup has a million stories surrounding it and it has got that special feeling especially if you can progress in it but we’ll approach that game as we do every game and that’s to win.”

Manager Michael Flynn also hopes to have defender Mark O’Brien and midfielder Joss Labadie fit to face Walsall after they too missed out at Notts County.

Defender Calaum Jahraldo-Martin is still sidelined with a hamstring injury but new striker Paul Hayes should be closer to full fitness this week and could even make his Exiles debut against the Saddlers.