NEWPORT County AFC travel to Portsmouth this weekend with manager Justin Edinburgh insisting he has no regrets about turning down the chance to manage the south coast club.

The Exiles boss returns to Fratton Park – where he finished his playing career in 2002 – to face the club he rejected two weeks ago.

Pompey approached director of football Tim Harris for permission to speak to Edinburgh after sacking Guy Whittingham and, after consulting with the former Spurs star, that permission was denied.

The 2008 FA Cup winners have now appointed Richie Barker and Saturday’s match will be his first in the job.

“I have no regrets on turning down the chance to talk to Portsmouth, none whatsoever,” said Edinburgh, who again reiterated his desire to finish the job he’s started at Rodney Parade.

“We are a work in progress and there is still an awful lot of work to be done.

“I am absolutely loving my time here and I feel there is much more to be done, so no regrets whatsoever.”

And County assistant manager Jimmy Dack has rubbished suggestions from the south coast that Edinburgh had actually applied for the Fratton Park post.

“I certainly know that he didn’t apply for the job,” said Dack. “Portsmouth made an approach to the football club and Justin has nailed his colours to the mast.

“He was fully aware of their interest but he nipped it in the bud early.

“There were lots of people in for the job and it dragged on a bit but Justin made up his mind that he wanted to stay with Newport and that shows his commitment to this football club.

“We’ll just keep going. We’ve got a job to do here and a really good team in the background pushing us on.

“The chairman, Howard (Greenhaf) and Tim Harris have backed us and most of all we’ve got a real good set of players who want to play for each other and for the manager.

“If we left we’d let them down because we’ve brought them here and they’ve done brilliant for us. Loyalty works both ways.

“But we can’t let Saturday be about Justin and Portsmouth and Richie Barker,” added Dack.

“It’s about two teams going for a win. We’re going to go there and give it our all, as we always do, and hopefully bring back three points.”

Edinburgh and Dack will be hoping for a second victory over Barker this season after a 3-2 success against his Crawley Town side in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

“We obviously know a bit about Richie Barker and (director of football) Steve Coppell and the style of football they play,” said Edinburgh.

“Richie will try and implement his style and we are aware a new manager tends to lead to a reaction from the players so we will need to be at our best.”