NEWPORT County AFC caretaker boss Wayne Hatswell will field a settled team at Exeter City on Saturday but has challenged those on the fringes to keep the heat on the starters by impressing tomorrow evening.

The Exiles entertain Arsenal U21s in the EFL Trophy (kick-off 7pm) with the aim of backing up their opening round win against Plymouth to progress in the much-maligned competition.

It is also an opportunity for both County’s next generation, including promising midfielder Aneurin Livermore after illness prevented him from linking up with Wales Under-19s, and those who have been out of the team to enjoy some action.

Nick Townsend, Aaron Lewis, Kevin Ellison, Jake Cain and Timmy Abraham were unused subs against Bradford on Saturday while the likes of Lewis Collins, Chris Missilou and Jermaine Hylton did not make the 18-man squad.

Hatswell said: “We want to progress in the competition and hopefully it can earn a bit more money for the club again!

“We will be up against a side with some good youngsters and see it as a chance to get minutes into the players who have not been in the side of late.

“You see with the bench that we’ve got and with certain players in the stands that there is competition for places here.”

South Wales Argus: BOSS: Wayne HatswellBOSS: Wayne Hatswell

Unless something dramatic happens, Hatswell will be in charge in Exeter and it would be a surprise if he didn’t name the same side for the third League Two fixture on the spin.

County had the better of Bradford City in a 0-0 draw on Saturday after previously beating Scunthorpe 3-0.

Hatswell is demanding that his players maintain their high standards.

“They have to work 100 per cent to stay in the team. When they put in a shift like that then that warrants another go,” he said.

“Getting that consistency is important and we are getting better at home. We are getting familiar with the surroundings and we are on a level-footing with everyone else in the league [after starting with a run of away games].”

Those that take to the field are unlikely to force their way into the XI for Devon with Hatswell reaping the rewards of fielding a settled side after former boss Michael Flynn was hindered by injuries and unavailability.

“Players can start getting a better understanding of what is around them,” said the caretaker boss.

“Partnerships have materialised and then the boys on the bench have to bide their time to get into the team and stay hungry. A week is a long time in football, as we know here.”

County and Swindon both won their opening fixtures in the four-team group with two sides progressing to the round of 32, with pool winners having a home knockout clash.