NEWPORT County AFC are asking to play games away from their problematic Rodney Parade pitch in their League Two promotion bid with the English Football League set to decide at a board meeting on Thursday.

The Exiles host Stevenage this afternoon, one of nine remaining fixtures on home soil.

READ MORE: Live blog from County v Stevenage

The hybrid Rodney Parade surface was meant to be re-laid last summer but that was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Newport, who split training between their old Spytty Park ground and the Football Association of Wales’ Dragon Park, hope to shift some games and will present their case to the EFL in the coming week.

The club are yet to confirm where they propose moving the fixtures to.

“We have entered into dialogue with the EFL asking them to consider us playing a number of games away from here to give the pitch a bit of breathing space, which is clearly what it needs,” said chairman Gavin Foxall.

“There is a fixture backlog anyway because of Covid and they realise that the pitch is going to be re-laid in the summer.

“Our concern is that we only need a downpour an hour before the game and it’s unlikely to go ahead. That would only add to our fixture congestion and we know there are very few dates left in the calendar.

“We will put a case together that looks at an alternative venue for alternative games to give the pitch the breather that it needs.”

South Wales Argus:

County have a block of four away games in their next five with their next home fixture against Bradford City on Tuesday, March 9.

Games are being played behind closed doors but there are still hurdles for the Exiles.

“Sometimes you can think that it’s simplistic but there are a lot of complexities around it,” said Foxall. “There are a number of different things that they have to consider whether that is commercial, media, sporting integrity.

“They will need to discuss it but what is encouraging is that they recognise these are unprecedented times.

“It may not be agreed but the engagement has been very good. We will see how it goes at a board meeting on Thursday and we will see how it goes.

“There is a good relationship with the EFL board. I spoke to Rick Parry on my way up to Walsall the other day and our League Two representative John Nixon from Carlisle is very supportive of all clubs.

“Hopefully they will be able to support us. If not then we have engaged to try and resolve a situation that is not of anybody’s making.

“This is a result of the pandemic and the ground staff do a great job to make it as good as it can be.”