NEWPORT County AFC caretaker manager Jimmy Dack says his players won’t give up the fight for promotion as the club attempts to recover from the ‘major trauma’ of Justin Edinburgh’s move to Gillingham.

County halted a run of four straight defeats with a 1-1 draw against Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night in Dack’s first home game in charge.

The point keeps the Exiles in sixth place in League Two ahead of Saturday’s trip to third-placed Wycombe Wanderers, who were beaten 2-0 at home by Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday.

And Dack insists that a place in the play-offs is still a realistic target for his side.

“We’re not writing it off because we’re sixth in the league,” he said.

“These players put us in third place a few weeks ago so we know they can do it.

“But we’ve been through a major trauma at this football club and it’s about regrouping and getting ourselves back together.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we keep going. The players did keep going until the end [on Tuesday] and that’s why I’m fighting for them.

“They’ve been fantastic since I’ve been here and that makes me want to drive down that motorway and do my best for them.

“The commitment and the desire from the players was fantastic and that’s all I ask for.

“The crowd were brilliant as well,” he added. “It’s them lot that drive me on. They always give us their full support and I appreciate it and I know the players do too.

“Sometimes you’ve got to give them something to shout about but they were like the 12th man for us.”

Dack ditched Edinburgh’s preferred 5-3-2 system against relegation-threatened Tranmere but says it was desire that forced Mark Byrne’s late leveller.

“We had four games without a win and we didn’t look like we were creating any chances so I felt that by going 4-4-2 we could get the ball out wide and get balls into the box,” he explained.

“Within ten minutes we switched to 4-3-3 and I give Wayne Hatswell the credit for that.

“We had 61 per cent of the play and that was pleasing. I do hear supporters saying get it down and play but sometimes the pitch doesn’t allow us to do that.

“I thought the system worked but sometimes it’s not always about systems,” he added. “It’s about the players’ desire and how much they want to win a football match.

“It was a fantastic goal by Byrner; that lad just keeps going and going and he’s a pleasure to work with.”