THERE was disappointment and anger in a Newport County AFC changing room for the first time in a while at Spotland Stadium, but the senior players are striving to ensure there is no repeat at Brisbane Road.

The Exiles had hoped to be able to respond to a 3-0 thrashing at Rochdale on Boxing Day but that fixture at Rodney Parade has been postponed because of coronavirus in the Forest Green Rovers camp.

Covid-permitting, County now prepare for a pair of tricky League Two games on the road with Leyton Orient on Wednesday (kick-off 7.45pm) followed by Walsall on New Year's Day.

Central defender James Clarke hopes the wait will be worthwhile in London.

"We've got to wait when ideally we would have had a game a few days after Rochdale to put things right," he admitted.

"We were all hurting and angry in the changing room. We were disappointed in ourselves after that result but that was only a second loss in 13 in the league.

"We have been really good and that was a bump in the road, but we can't afford many of them. We will look to rectify it and learn from it."

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County fell behind for the third game on the spin but failed to comeback as they did in victory against Sutton and Port Vale.

"We started sloppily and gave ourselves a mountain to climb. In past weeks we had been able to come back but the efforts weren't enough," said Clarke.

"We are disappointed and apologise to the fans that went all that way, paying their hard-earned money. We weren't good enough."

Clarke was signed by Michael Flynn after leaving Walsall last summer, played under caretaker boss Wayne Hatswell and has now been a firm fixture in James Rowberry's defence.

The manager hailed the experienced members of his side for their post-match chat in Rochdale and they will drive the bid for a response.

"We've got quite a few senior lads who can speak their mind. It's on us now, the gaffer puts his ideas across and we have to implement them," said Clarke. "It's down to us in the changing room to get hold of things and sort out the issues."

County lost the Forest Green fixture but the hard graft has continued under Rowberry, who was appointed in mid-October.

"He has been class," said Clarke. "He has had a massive impact on us with things from the training ground that don't always get seen.

"A lot of credit to him, he has been class since coming in and we will be worked hard to make sure we are prepared for these games coming up."