MANAGER James Rowberry is set to tinker with his Newport County AFC team for tonight’s trip to Crawley in League Two (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Exiles have a busy schedule with the clash at Broadfield Stadium in between Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Swindon and Friday’s away game at Colchester United.

Rowberry has kept a settled team since being appointed as manager in mid-October but is poised to make changes after suffering a first league defeat.

“I had in my mind about freshening up anyway because if we are going to have three games in a week then I’ve got to use the squad that I have got available,” he said.

County have two long trips in quick succession but then have a break courtesy of being out of the FA Cup.

South Wales Argus:

Robbie Willmott has been a key figure this season and is back available after missing the last two fixtures because he tested positive for coronavirus.

County have been boosted by the return of defender/midfielder Scot Bennett, who was an unused substitute against Swindon.

The stalwart had nine weeks on the sidelines because of a broken metatarsal suffered against Northampton in September.

Rowberry has made enforced changes in the league because of injury and seven players – Joe Day, Cameron Norman, James Clarke, Mickey Demetriou, Ollie Cooper, Dom Telford and Courtney Baker-Richardson – have been ever-presents since he took over.

The manager said ahead of the Swindon fixture that freshening up wouldn’t be the only consideration when it came to changes.

"As a staff we do look ahead from a planning point of view to know what possible changes we might need to make along the way or tweaks of formation to try and exploit the opposition's weaknesses," he said.

Crawley ended their six-game losing streak with a 1-0 win at Barrow on Saturday thanks to James Tilley’s goal but manager John Yems was staying grounded.

"We've still got a lot to do. We've won one game, we're nowhere near where we want to be, but it's fantastic,” he said.

"It was a great result. It's nice to get the monkey off your back, so to speak, and hopefully it leads on to other things.

"We've got a long way to go yet. It's only one win, we got a clean sheet, but it's a start."

County drew 1-1 at Crawley last season when Ryan Haynes opened the scoring only for Mickey Demetriou to gift the hosts a leveller when he headed past goalkeeper Nick Townsend.

The Exiles took the spoils 2-0 at Rodney Parade thanks to goals by Liam Shephard and Aaron Lewis.