JAMES Rowberry will return to the scene of his first game as a manager on a watching brief today ahead of Newport County AFC's return to action in League Two.

The Exiles have the weekend off after being knocked out of the FA Cup in the first round by Morecambe.

County have recharged the batteries ahead of a key block in their league campaign that features six games in 26 days, starting against Sutton United at Rodney Parade on Tuesday up to the New Year's Day trip to Walsall.

Sutton, who sit sixth in the table after superb start to life in the EFL after last season's promotion, will be on the M4 again after they take on Bristol Rovers in the second round of the FA Cup.

Rowberry's first game in charge of County was a 3-1 win at the Memorial Stadium and he will be in the stands with assistant Wayne Hatswell to watch the their next opponents in the flesh.

The Exiles haven't played since their 1-1 draw with Colchester last Friday and the squad were given some time off at the start of the week because of a draining schedule.

However, they have started to ramp up their preparations for the December fixtures and the players won't get a Saturday off because a training session is planned for this morning.

The manager and Hatswell will then head for Bristol to watch Sutton while first team coach Jarred Harvey will travel to Burton to observe Port Vale ahead of next Saturday's game at Rodney Parade.

"We have got access to watching all the games through downloading them on the Hudl platform that we use but this was a chance to go and see them live," said Rowberry.

South Wales Argus: BACK: Captain Matty Dolan suffered a head injury at CrawleyBACK: Captain Matty Dolan suffered a head injury at Crawley

County will have captain Matty Dolan back from a head injury that forced the defender to sit out the 1-1 draw at Colchester while midfielder Ed Upson is back from suspension.

That gives Rowberry & Co two more welcome selection headaches because stalwarts Scot Bennett and Robbie Willmott took their spots in Essex after returning from a foot injury and coronavirus respectively.

County have home advantage against Sutton and Port Vale then travel to Rochdale on December 18.

They entertain Forest Green Rovers on Boxing Day, head to Leyton Orient on December 29 and then start 2022 in the West Midlands with a New Year's Day clash with Walsall.

"Everybody in the squad has a really important part to play in this run of games," said Rowberry.

County are ninth in League Two, two points off the play-offs and five behind the automatic promotion spots.