DEFENDER Andy Sandell will again act as back-up to number one goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley as Newport County AFC take on Portsmouth on Saturday, writes Andrew Penman.

Reserve ‘keeper Jamie Stephens has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury, meaning Sandell will be ready to step in if Pidgeley picks up an injury at Fratton Park.

County assistant manager Jimmy Dack confirmed that he and boss Justin Edinburgh will look to bring in another goalkeeper but Sandell is on standby this weekend – just like he was at Oxford United last month.

“Jamie has got a hamstring injury and he’s looking at two to six weeks out,” said Dack.

“Andy Sandell is quite prepared to go in goal to help us out but it is an area we want to sort out.

“The longer Jamie is out the more we’ll want to sort that out but we’ll wait to see how he reacts.

“We could get a free agent in and we’re on the lookout but there’s no point bringing someone in just for the sake of it, it has to be the right one.”

Dack also appeared to rule out bringing youth team custodian Conor Christie onto the bench, adding: “You don’t want to ruin the lad. Is he going to be ready for us? We don’t want to rush into it.”

Like Stephens, defender Andrew Hughes is also out with a hamstring injury picked up against Peterborough in midweek but Tom Naylor should be fit to play.

“Andrew Hughes will also be out for two to three weeks with a slight twinge,” said Dack.

“He’s had a bit of a recurrence of an old injury and it keeps coming back, which is a shame.

“Tom Naylor just overstretched striking a ball but he’s trained and it looks like he’ll be OK.”

And centre-back Ismail Yakubu, who has missed the last three games with a hip injury, will also return.

“Ish has been excellent for us this season and in previous seasons. He’s a big player for us in both boxes and he was instrumental in us keeping five clean sheets in a row,” said Dack.

“He took the armband and he’s a leader of men. We do miss him when he’s not on the pitch so he’ll be a big asset for us on Saturday.”