NEWPORT County are standing by Byron Anthony despite Curtis Obeng taking his squad number, the Argus can reveal.

The 30-year old hasn’t played this season after agreeing a month-to-month deal with the club in the summer after a nightmare campaign where injuries ravaged his season.

The former Cardiff and Bristol Rovers man, a revelation as Newport were promoted to the Football League, suffered a double leg fracture in last August’s Capital One Cup win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

The injury sidelined Anthony for six months and though he returned to play six games at the back end of last season, he hasn’t played a second for the Exiles this term.

Indeed, Saturday’s clash with Accrington even saw loan signing Curtis Obeng wearing Anthony’s number 21 shirt and that has prompted fans to suggest the player has been released, but that isn’t the case.

“Byron isn’t fit to resume playing for us, he’s had a horrendous time of it with injuries, but he’s still a part of this club, we value him tremendously,” Edinburgh told the Argus.

“The reason Curtis took the 21 shirt is that Byron has only ever been on a month-to-month deal this season with us and as such, his registration didn’t go the Football League, he was never on our official squad list.

“But nothing would please us more than to see Byron back to doing what he does best.”

The Argus has revealed previously that Anthony has been assisting Mike Flynn with duties relating to the Newport County AFC Academy and has worked especially with the U16 group.

And Edinburgh insists the club will continue to stand with Anthony as he assesses his future.

“Byron has been working with the age squads and we’ve had excellent feedback on what he’s been doing,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Exiles won 5-0 yesterday in a development clash with Bristol City.

However, the visitors from across the Severn Bridge will probably reflect on a job well done considering the side Newport put out, all bar the second half substitutes being established first team players.

Aaron O’Connor and James Loveridge both grabbed braces and Obeng also found the net as several players short of match fitness got a chance to work on their sharpness.

The Exiles are next in action at the weekend when they travel to Hartlepool United for League Two action.

County: Pidgeley, Obeng, Feely, Yakubu, Tancock, Sandell, Flynn, Porter, Klukowski, Loveridge, O'Connor