Headaches for Edinburgh ahead of cup showdown
YATE TOWN v COUNTY (FA Cup fourth QR, Tomorrow. K0 3pm)
NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh faces selection problems in defence for tomorrow’s trip to Yate Town in the FA Cup.
Captain and right-back David Pipe and central defender Ismail Yakubu were both injured in last week’s 1-1 draw at Macclesfield and have not trained this week.
Pipe suffered a groin strain at Moss Rose and Yakubu picked up a calf strain and both are rated as doubtful for the fourth qualifying round tie at Lodge Road.
And Andrew Hughes, who came on for Yakubu last week, aggravated an ankle injury playing for the Wales C side in Port Talbot on Tuesday night.
If all three miss out then the Exiles could be forced to play Max Porter at right-back and Lee Minshull in the centre alongside first choice defenders Tony James and Andy Sandell.
The injury is bad timing for Hughes, who was hoping to take advantage of Yakubu’s injury to stake a claim for a regular starting spot.
“Hopefully I’ll be OK,” said the former Cardiff City youth team player. “I’ve rested it in training this week.
“Ismail is struggling so hopefully I’ll be all right for Saturday but the timing is unlucky for me,” he added.
“If I can sort the ankle out I’ll be looking to get a few games under my belt.
“Ismail and Tony James have played really well this season and they’ve both chipped in with their fair share of goals as well so I can’t really complain at not playing much.”
Hughes can play at centre-back or left-back and is raring to go when called upon.
“I think over time I’ll become a centre-back but I still like to consider myself a left-back as well,” said the 22-year-old known as Tiger.
“It’s always good to have people in the squad who can play in different positions and I’ll play wherever the gaffer wants me to play.
“The FA Cup is a great competition and we’ve prepared for this game the same as any other. We’re looking forward to it.”
Hughes was joined by County teammates Ben Swallow and Lee Evans in the Wales C team that lost 5-0 to the full Turkey under-23 team in midweek.
“It was a tough game against some top players who are with clubs like Galatasaray,” he explained.
“They were very good but the scoreline doesn’t really reflect the game. I think we were the better team in the first half and had more chances but they took their chances well.
“But it was a good experience to test yourself against quality players and it was good to have Lee Evans and Ben Swallow there as well.”