MANAGER Michael Flynn is confident his Newport County AFC side are on an upward curve after a summer of change at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles travel to Barrow in League Two this evening (kick-off 7.45pm) with the intention of building on last weekend's well-deserved 2-1 win against Walsall.

County responded impressively to a poor performance in defeat to Northampton to boss the first half against the Saddlers.

The only gripe was that failed to add to Mickey Demetriou's early goal and Walsall were level at the break courtesy of a sucker punch just seconds after Matty Dolan had missed a penalty.

County showed spirit to win it in the closing stages through James Clarke and head to Holker Street in high spirits.

"It's always pleasing when you get three points but the football that we played in the first half was exceptional," said Flynn.

"It was up there with the best that I have seen a Newport County AFC team play. That was positive and if we had scored the penalty it would have been an easier second half."

South Wales Argus: GONE: Josh Sheehan left County after their Wembley defeatGONE: Josh Sheehan left County after their Wembley defeat

Flynn signed 15 players this summer after the League Two play-off final defeat to Morecambe led to a rebuild and the loss of influential figures Josh Sheehan, Joss Labadie and Liam Shephard.

"We are a work in progress and I had players who hadn't trained all week that played against Walsall, I have had players missing through Covid that are still not fully over it, we've had injuries and a lot of unsettling things going on so far," said the manager before training at Undy AFC on Thursday.

"I am sure we will only get better. There is a lot to improve on and we are going to get better and better after a summer rebuild," he said.

"The players are getting to know each other more and more every day and that will hopefully lead to a positive outcome of an unbeaten run."

County will need to be on their game if they are to avoid a repeat of last season, when former loanee Jamie Devitt struck a late free-kick to earn Barrow a 2-1 win.

The Cumbrians are fresh from a 1-1 draw at pre-season promotion favourites Bradford.

South Wales Argus: Barrow boss Mark CooperBarrow boss Mark Cooper

"I am expecting a very tough game. I've got a lot of time and respect for [manager] Mark Cooper, we get on well and speak quite often," said Flynn.

"His teams always look to play football the right way and they have got some really good players, but hopefully we can edge it and get the win.

"With Mark going in there, Barrow are showing they are ambitious and in League Two anybody can beat anybody.

"I know at the moment Forest Green are looking very, very good and Leyton Orient are with them in the top two but it's going to be a tough, tough season. A lot of teams will be taking points off each other."