CAMERON Norman admits it will hit promotion-chasing Newport County AFC hard when they run out to the sound of silence at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

While League Two’s 23 English clubs continue to receive loud backing, the Exiles return to football behind closed doors when they entertain Salford.

Welsh government restrictions because of the Omicron coronavirus variant mean that County must shut the turnstiles for this weekend at least.

With further home games to come against Harrogate and Barrow this month, the club faces a financial hit but they also lose the extra edge provided by the Amber Army.

The home supporters played their part in comeback wins against Sutton United and Port Vale in December while a 722-strong travelling contingent backed them in the thrilling 3-3 draw at Walsall on New Year’s Day.

County season ticket holders will have to settle for watching on iFollow this weekend and for Norman and his teammates it is an unwanted return to 2020/21, when all the motivation had to come from within.

South Wales Argus: JOY: County celebrate with their fans after making it 3-2 at WalsallJOY: County celebrate with their fans after making it 3-2 at Walsall

“At Walsall you could see how much they drive us on so we are really going to miss them but hopefully we can do them justice by getting a good result for them while they are watching from home,” said the right wing-back, who is a League Two ever-present since arriving from the Saddlers last summer.

“It’s a really tough one to take and it will hit all of us hard when we get out there on Saturday, but we’ve got to get on with it.

“It has to be business as usual and we have to keep picking up results at home. The manager will be onto us about creating the atmosphere amongst ourselves to keep the intensity high.”

If County are in need of an extra edge then a screening of the first meeting between the sides would help.

South Wales Argus: BATTERED: Salford City won 3-0 against Cameron Norman and Newport County earlier in the seasonBATTERED: Salford City won 3-0 against Cameron Norman and Newport County earlier in the season

Just days after the 8-0 League Cup loss to Premier League Southampton, Salford hammered them at Moor Lane and the damage could have been even worse than 3-0.

“We definitely owe them one from last time when we weren’t at the races, so we want to put that one right,” said Norman.

The defender had to watch from the away dugout as County saw three points turn into one at the death at Walsall.

Norman had been forced off by a tight quad when Conor Wilkinson earned the Saddlers a draw with a stunning effort three minutes into six added on.

County hit Walsall late for a 2-1 win at Rodney Parade but this time they were on the receiving end.

“It was a tough one to take, the boys were disappointed but we take the point and move on,” said Norman.

“You get some of them in your favour every season and some against, we were disappointed in terms of the goals that we conceded from set pieces but we were good value for a point at least.

“We did well in the first half to control the game but they threw everything at us in the second and it was hard to deal with. We have to take it on the chin and move on to the next one.

“All of us had been chomping at the bit go get back to it [after coronavirus postponements], especially after the disappointing loss away to Rochdale.

“We wanted to get out there and put things right, which we did to a certain extent because Walsall is a tough place to go.”