NEWPORT County AFC utility man Ben Tozer says the squad needs to be strengthened in January to ensure that the club keeps progressing.

Manager Michael Flynn has revealed that he hopes to add up to four new signings next month to boost County’s push for the play-offs in the second half of the League Two season.

The Exiles are 10th, three points off the top seven, after their Boxing Day defeat at Wycombe Wanderers and Tozer says the players will all welcome new recruits in the New Year.

“That’s expected. He’s going to strengthen the squad no matter what,” he said when asked about the manager’s plans.

“If you don’t strengthen then you go backwards.

“That’s part and parcel of football, we know that, and it will be welcome.”

Tozer dropped back from midfield to play in central defence at Wycombe and he may be there again when the team travels to Cheltenham Town this Saturday.

Centre-back Mark O’Brien is still suspended after his red card against Lincoln City and captain Joss Labadie will also be missing from midfield after picking up two yellow cards at Adams Park.

“We could do without that,” said Tozer. “It’s not ideal, especially in this period.

“We’ve had two now in the last two games and we can’t let that start creeping in because it weakens us.

“I’ve got no idea where I’ll play,” he added. “We’ve had a couple of reds now so we’ll have to reshuffle the pack again.”

South Wales Argus:

Tozer, who was forced off due to a muscle injury against Lincoln, had his hands full for 90 minutes on Boxing Day as he grappled with 16-stone striker Adebayo Akinfenwa.

He knew what to expect from his former Northampton Town teammate but the Beast got the better of the duel with a stunning volley to seal a 2-0 win for the hosts after Nathan Tyson had broken the deadlock in the first half (above).

“I played with him for two years so I know him well,” said the 27-year-old.

“I know that he’s stronger than me – he’s stronger than anyone else in the league – and you try different things.

“You try not to give away fouls but normally against him you’ve got to try to frustrate him and get him wound up.

“Unfortunately we didn’t do that and he scored.”

Tozer did not blame his injury and he says he will be fit to face Cheltenham.

“I don’t want to say what the injury is because it gives opposition a chance to take advantage of that,” he said.

“Saturday was the first time I’d ever come off injured in my career, which was frustrating, but I got through it [at Wycombe] and I’ll just get on with it.

“I’ll be OK for Cheltenham.”

Flynn’s men will aim to finish 2017 on a high at Whaddon Road.

“The games are coming thick and fast and we’ve got to try to rectify it now,” added Tozer.

“We’ve got to turn it from a negative to a positive.

“If it was a week away we’d be itching to get out there and chomping at the bit for the next game.

“Luckily it’s only a few days and we can put things right.

“We’re five points off Wycombe, who are fourth, and if you’d said we’d be in that position coming into the New Year then everyone would have bitten your hand off.

“We can’t get carried away but it’s a tight pack and all it takes is a few wins on the bounce to put yourself in a really healthy position. We’re not far away.”