NEWPORT County AFC are without playmaker Matty Dolan this afternoon but defender Mickey Demetriou has pledged they’ll keep building from the back.

The Exiles welcome Stevenage to Rodney Parade in League Two (kick-off 3pm) but must cope without their captain, who suffered a thigh injury in last week’s 3-1 win at Bristol Rovers.

Dolan has been a key figure since moving from midfield to defence thanks to his calmness on the ball and range of passing for a County team that like to keep the ball on the deck.

It was 0-0 when he limped off at the Memorial Stadium last week but the Exiles didn’t change their ways despite shifting from three at the back to a flat four.

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Mickey DemetriouINFLUENTIAL: Mickey Demetriou

“Losing Matty was a big thing, he is a big part of the way that we want to play but we handled it well,” said vice-captain Demetriou.

“We were still able to play with the ball but started it further forward instead of straight from the back.”

Dolan’s departure in Bristol led to County switching to a midfield containing Robbie Willmott and young loanees Jake Cain, Finn Azaz and Ollie Cooper, a quartet of tidy footballers.

The XI that get the nod this afternoon will have the same demands from new boss James Rowberry as they did from Michael Flynn and Wayne Hatswell – build from the back and beat the press.

“We have to stay patient with it, I know that the crowd get a little bit agitated when we do keep the ball at the back but all we ask is that they trust us,” said Demetriou.

“In the Carlisle game we didn't start very well, going down at 45 seconds, but it wasn't going to change the way that we wanted to play.

South Wales Argus: “We kept the ball when the agitated fans wanted us to go forward because we were losing 1-0, but our two goals came from playing out of the back.

“It allows us to keep the ball and create the space that we need because there is no point kicking it up for their 6ft 5ins centre-backs to head the ball.

“We have got some good players in the middle of the park so fingers crossed we can continue against Stevenage.”

County are hunting back-to-back league wins for the first time this season and have enjoyed their first full week of the Rowberry era.

“The new gaffer has come in and not had to change much, which is a compliment to the old gaffer and Hats,” said 31-year-old Demetriou, who is in his sixth season at Rodney Parade.

“He will put his own stamp on it but hasn’t got to change things drastically; normally when new managers come in the team is not doing well.

“We are a good side and we carry on as normal. You haven’t got to change anything if it's not broken.

“We will pick his brains on things because he has been at a higher club for a long time and will bring in some different ideas, that's only going to help us.”