NEWPORT County AFC manager James Rowberry has pleaded with the EFL to allow clubs more bench power because of coronavirus as he prepares to give youth a chance.

The Exiles return to action in League Two this afternoon at Walsall after clashes against Forest Green Rovers and Leyton Orient were postponed.

It's not just the usual injuries that are stretching clubs and the manager would like a return to last season's rules for substitutions in a season that was congested because of coronavirus.

Teams in the Championship, where Rowberry was working as Cardiff's first team coach, were allowed to name nine substitutes and use five while Leagues One and Two allowed seven players to be on the bench with five able to come on.

With the prospect of a hectic schedule because of postponements, the County boss would like to be able to give more of his young prospects a taste of the action.

"If it's a cluster of fixtures that we have to play [so be it], my only request to the EFL would be about the opportunity to play five subs," said Rowberry.

"I keep saying it every week and I said it about the Papa John's Cup, about being able to utilise five subs in that to give our young developing players a great opportunity to play.

"Going back to nine on the bench and use five subs, or seven and five, is something that the governing body need to look at and consider."

County included defender Joe Woodiwiss and Wales Under-17s midfielder Sonny Lewis (pictured) on their bench at Rochdale last time out.

More youth could be in the matchday 18 at Bescot Stadium due to injury and unavailability.

"We have had quite a few of the youth team lads training with us. Sonny Lewis has stepped up and has been terrific and Aneurin Livermore has been great along with Harrison Bright, Joe Woodiwiss and a few others," said Rowberry.

"We managed to train with 20 on Wednesday, with some youth team and development lads in that, and we have just had to get on with it as best as we possibly can."