IT HAS been yet another turbulent week at Rodney Parade.

A 4-0 loss to League Two relegation rivals Leyton Orient last weekend was then followed by the sacking of boss Graham Westley on Wednesday night.

Unfortunately, it’s nothing new to Newport County AFC’s fans and chairman of operations Gavin Foxall, who hired Westley in October following Warren Feeney’s dismissal.

Foxall today opened up about the events of the past seven days, including Westley’s departure and the installing of Michael Flynn as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

Q. How tough has it been over the last week?

A. It’s been a difficult time for everybody associated with the club, not just the board. It wasn’t just the loss against Leyton Orient, it was the way in which we lost.

People were leaving in their hundreds at half-time, it wasn’t single figures, and I could understand their frustration. I was there, I watched it, and it was pretty bad.

Q. It must hurt a lot when you see fans react like that?

A. Absolutely. If you go back to when the supporters took over, they did that because they love the club, and they expressed that by putting their money into it.

They bought community shares and turned up in droves to watch us home and away, and bought shirts etc. It does hurt when we find ourselves in the position we are, and I’d go as far as to say the performance against Leyton Orient was the worst I’ve seen. It was very disappointing on every level.

Q. How do you go about getting the good vibes back?

A. We’ve now got a local boy who is born and bred in charge of the players, and what he is able to do is share with the squad what it means to the city, the fans, and everybody associate with the club.

That is the message from us to a certain extent, we want to get the pride and passion back in the club. The players have shown they can do that, and hopefully with Michael leading them we’ll see that at Crewe.

Q. What were the events that led to Graham’s dismissal?

A. We, as a board, met via a conference call on Monday, we wanted to reflect a bit on things. We already had a planned meeting on Wednesday.

We wanted to consider a number of different factors and in between that time we consulted people – some supporters, the players – and what was quite evident was the overwhelming disappointment, both from fans and, indeed, some of the views the players had expressed that we needed to make a change for the good of the club.

We always need to make decisions which are right for the club, nobody is bigger than this club. It’s never easy making those decisions but we did on Wednesday evening and then asked Michael to step up.

Q. Looking back at Graham’s appointment, are there any regrets or anything you would have done differently?

A. You’ve got to look at where we were at that time. We were looking for a certain profile of manager and we went through a process to get there. There’s no doubt about it, Graham was the outstanding candidate.

One thing I’d say about Graham is the fact that he worked extremely hard for this club, as did Dino (Maamria), and his work ethic is second to none. This club will benefit from some of the improvements he made around the place for years to come. Sometimes it’s a shame that all the hard work that’s going in doesn’t produce results.

We were clear when he came in that he had a really challenging job, but we also felt we needed to give him an opportunity, which is why we backed him and supported him with the players he brought in during the transfer window.

We could be criticised for allowing him to bring in X, Y and Z six weeks ago and now he’s gone. I just think the nature of the Orient defeat, the overwhelming views from supporters, and those of the players as well, it was evident something had to change.

Hindsight is a great thing but we can only make decisions based on what we’re faced with at that time. You can’t dismiss someone on one game but I would describe the Orient match as the catalyst for us to say ‘what is wrong?’ When you get fans walking out at half-time and the way they reacted after you realise you’ve got to consider things a little bit differently.

Q. What targets have you set for Michael?

A. We really hope Michael can turn this around but, realistically, we know it’s a hell of a challenge given where we are and the amount of games we’ve got left. But if he does manage to do that then we hope he gets the freedom of the city.

What we’ve said to him, and what we’ve said to every manager we’ve employed here, we are 100% behind him and will support him as much as we can, within the constraints we’ve got as a club.

We want to survive, of course we do, but what we don’t want to do is put any unnecessary pressure on, and if it doesn’t happen it makes it very difficult. We’ve said to the players we want them to go out and play for the badge, play with a bit of passion, and hopefully that will turn into results.

We’re not going to give up, we’re going to fight as much as we can to try and stay in this division, and we believe Michael gives us the best chance of doing that.

Q. Are you already looking at who will replace Graham on a permanent basis?

A. No. We’ve appointed Michael to the end of the season so that’s our focus. We need to support him and the backroom staff he has got and is bringing in to make sure it gives the club as much of a fighting chance to stay up as possible.

If we don’t stay up we’ll have conversations with Michael in the summer to see where we go. We want him to succeed as a Newport boy, and what a great story that would be if he does keep us up.

It’s always been his ambition to be a manager and he’s matured greatly over the time I’ve been involved. I think that’s down to the UEFA Pro Licence course and he’s learnt a significant amount off Graham.

Q. How much pressure is there on the board to get the next appointment right?

A. There’s always going to be pressure. If we look back to what we did in October, I don’t think any fan would have suggested the appointment of Graham wasn’t the right one given the person we were looking for.

I was speaking to somebody who has had over 1,000 games and he said to me it’s very much a young man’s game. What we want to do is make sure Michael gets the right support and we’re speaking to somebody now who could hopefully give that in more of a consultancy role.

What we want is someone who can spend some time down here and who can also help the board.

Q. How much will the dismissal of Graham and Dino affect the club financially?

A. We will always meet our contractual obligations, we should do that as a good employer, and, of course, that’s part of the consideration to part company.

With the previous manager that was taken into consideration. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t be able to say what those figures are.

What I would say is that the contracts we put in place with employees now do not then mean it puts the club in a significant and difficult position as we perhaps had when we inherited the club.