THE Exiles exodus continued yesterday as Newport County manager Justin Edinburgh released four more players from his first-team squad.
Midfielders Darryl Knights, Troy Greening and Guillaume Velez and defender Paul Rodgers joined Glyn Thompson, Lee Baker and Elliott Buchanan in heading for the exit at Spytty Park.
All seven players were out of contract and Edinburgh currently has just six players tied down for next season – two of whom are not in his long-term plans.
Youngsters Andrew Hughes, Jake Harris and Lee Evans are all signed up and centre-back Ismail Yakubu is staying put thanks to a clause in his contract that gave him an extra year if he made 30 appearances in this campaign.
Also under contract are striker Craig McAllister, currently on loan at Luton Town, and winger Felino Jardim, but both will be told they can find new clubs.
In a busy few days since the FA Trophy final defeat to York City on Saturday, Edinburgh has met with the majority of his players and is currently in talks with Gary Warren, Sam Foley and David Pipe about new contracts.
Lee Minshull and Max Porter, who were both on loan from AFC Wimbledon, are to be offered deals after they were released by the League Two club.
And Edinburgh is hopeful that Jake Reid, Ryan Charles, Romone Rose and Andy Sandell will also agree to stay on at the club.
"As a manager these are always difficult decisions and you probably won’t get them all right," said the Exiles boss.
"The budget I will have for next season will not be as big as it was last summer and I have to look at value for money.
"Lee Baker has been very unfortunate with injuries and hasn’t played anywhere near as much as he’d like and that was a big factor.
"Paul Rodgers started well for me but David Pipe has been magnificent at right-back so it would be difficult to keep Paul happy.
"Darryl Knights has been inconsistent and Troy and Velez never really featured for me.
"Glyn has been a great servant for the club but he couldn’t commit to full-time so we’ll be looking for a new goalkeeper with Matthew Swan staying on in the youth team."
As well as talking with his current squad, Edinburgh has also started to look at new targets but he warned fans not to expect a glut of signings in the next few weeks.
"I’ve met a few players and agents already but I won’t be rushed," he added.
"This club got a lot of things wrong last summer and that paved the way for a difficult season.
"I won’t fall into that trap. My priority is to tie down the players I want to keep first and then look to add quality."
Edinburgh is confident that the majority of the players currently in contract talks will remain with the club.
"I’ve agreed a contract with David Pipe and I think most of the players I brought to the club want to stay," he said.
"Gary Warren is at an age where he may want to wait and see what offers come in and I understand that.
"If we lose players to the Football League I have no problem with that but if they choose to go with a rival Conference club I would be disappointed."