NEWPORT County AFC captain Matty Dolan is aiming to upset his boyhood friends and even some members of his own family tonight by claiming three points at Hartlepool United.

Dolan is Hartlepool born and bred, supporting Pools as a youngster and going on to play for them in two loan spells earlier in his career.

He’s delighted to see his hometown club back in the Football League after a four-year absence but he’s determined to make the Monkey Hangers suffer tonight.

“It’s the place where I grew up and the club that I grew up watching and supporting and I played for as well,” said Dolan.

“So I’ve got some ties there but it’s about being professional and carrying on what we’ve been doing recently, which has been fantastic.

“My dad’s followed me up and down the country forever,” added the 28-year-old. “He took me to Hartlepool games as a kid but he’s a fan of wherever I am now so there’s no mixed loyalties for him.

“Plenty of mates will have [mixed loyalties] and probably some of the family. Maybe a couple of my old mates will be shouting at me but in my household, they’ll be purely supporting Newport.”

Dolan is expecting a difficult evening against last season’s National League play-off winners, who start the match in 10th place – level on points with County in eighth.

“Hartlepool have had a fantastic following and it’s probably their biggest asset,” he said.

“I’ve got plenty of friends and family who live in Hartlepool and what they achieved last year really brought the town together.

“They’re a very good side and they’ve made the Vic a very difficult place to go.

“It’s like what we’ve got here – they make it a real project of the whole town. There’s a real buzz when the local side is doing well.

“It will be a tough test but it’s all about us. We believe if we perform and we do what we set out to do then we’ll be a match for anyone in this league.

“We’re looking to take three points and continue what has been a very good run of late.”

County are aiming to put defeats in the FA Cup and Papa John’s Trophy behind them tonight and record a third successive league win under new boss James Rowberry.

Three points will take them up to fifth place before tomorrow’s matches and Dolan is optimistic about what the club can achieve under Rowberry this season.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air," said the centre-back. “We’ve been on a fantastic run on the pitch and we’ve got a clear picture of the way we want to play. He’s been exceptional in what he’s done. He leaves no stone unturned and he lives football.

“It’s a really exciting time for the football club and everyone is buying into it. We all want to get this football club progressing and get to that final stage of getting promoted.”