NEWPORT County AFC will once again be without captain Joss Labadie for tomorrow’s League Two clash against Port Vale but manager Michael Flynn will give Mark O’Brien and Ben Tozer as long as possible to prove their fitness.

Labadie has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the home defeat to Colchester United on October 17 and he won’t be fit to face the Valiants at Rodney Parade tomorrow night (kick-off 7.45pm).

But O’Brien (foot) and Tozer (illness) do have a chance of playing, while Robbie Willmott could return after being rested for Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy tie against Cheltenham Town.

Striker Joe Quigley is available before he goes off to international duty with Ireland under-21s on Saturday.

“Joss Labadie won’t make it,” said Flynn.

“I hope he’ll be OK for next week [at Accrington Stanley] because it’s dragging on a bit now.

“I thought he might have been alright for this one but he’s just not quite there and I don’t want rush him.”

Vale are currently 22nd in League Two but they have won five out of seven games since new manager Neil Aspin took charge on October 4.

“Their results have picked up since the new manager has come in and they’ve been playing to their strengths so we’re expecting a tough game,” said Flynn.

“Every game is difficult and if you don’t expect that and prepare for it then you will get brought back down to earth.

“But I’m confident that if we play to the best of our abilities we can win the game.

“If we win we go fifth but if we lose and everybody wins around us we’ll be down in 12th so it is fine margins.

“But it would be good if we could get the three points against a rejuvenated Port Vale side.

“They’ve got good players now and they are putting it together now,” added the Exiles boss.

“Sometimes it takes a team who have been relegated a bit of time to shake off the disappointment of the season before.

“I don’t think they’ll be down there come the end of the season.”

South Wales Argus:

Flynn was asked again about veteran striker Paul Hayes (above), who was signed last month but cannot play until January due to what a club statement referred to as “unforeseen challenges with registration regulations.”

The manager said: “Everything that needed to be said was in the statement.

“I don’t know too much about it so I don’t want to say anything when I might not have the full facts.

“We are paying him but he’s helping out with coaching the strikers, which was in his agreement anyway.

“And, believe me, we’re not paying him very much.

“He’s building up his fitness and getting up to speed so it is going to be like a new signing in January.”