NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh has called on the people of Newport to dig deep and back the boys as project promotion enters a crucial phase.

The Exiles moved to within six points of the play-off places with victory over third-placed Oxford United on Tuesday night.

And tomorrow’s clash with Cheltenham Town is the second of five successive home matches that Edinburgh hopes will propel his team into the top seven once again.

The surface at Rodney Parade has begun to look like the trenches of World War One at times over the past few months and Edinburgh wants his players and the fans to keep the home fires burning until May.

“The performance and the result the other night gave the boys a big lift and it’s one that we needed,” said the Exiles boss.

“We take that into Saturday now and it gives us a chance to get a bit of momentum going and try to claw back ground on the teams above us.

“Hopefully the crowd will turn out in great numbers again and give us their vocal support.

“I think we’re going to need that more than we did on Tuesday because it’s not as high profile a game but we need to keep churning out the results at home.

“We’ve made Rodney Parade a fortress since we’ve been there and our aim is to continue that for the rest of the season.

He added: “I know it’s difficult financially at the moment and it’s half term coming up as well so this is an extra expense but we hope people can stretch to as many games as they can.

“I appreciate that it will be difficult for people to attend every game but whoever does come we need them to get behind the team as they always do.”

Edinburgh believes that the patched up surface with sand covering much of one corner and one of the goalmouths will work to his players’ advantage.

“We’ve got a few tired legs after Tuesday from running in the sandpit,” he said. “It is heavy but I think the advantage we have is that we’ll be used to it because we’ll be playing a lot of games on it.

“We’ll hopefully be able to adapt quicker than the opposition.”

Harry Worley is still suspended for tomorrow’s match but Ismail Yakubu, Byron Anthony and Chris Zebroski all came through Tuesday unscathed.

“Byron is a little bit stiff but Zeb has amazed me,” said Edinburgh. “He was tireless and he has trained fully with no ill effects, as has Ismail so we’ve got no problems.”