NEWPORT County AFC’s captain fantastic Joss Labadie insists the Exiles now have “no excuses” not to mount a serious challenge for promotion to League One.

Labadie saw the club’s run in this season’s FA Cup come to an end against Spurs on Wednesday night, after which he stated his intent to play at the highest level possible with County.

And the midfielder sees no reason why Michael Flynn’s charges can’t target a place in the League Two play-offs with 15 games remaining.

The Exiles lost both matches – away to Lincoln City and Colchester United – in between their two fourth round encounters with Spurs.

But with the bread and butter of the league the sole focus for the Rodney Parade outfit, Labadie is hoping his team can rekindle the form that briefly took them up to fifth place.

“Some will say we’ve had a bit of an FA Cup hangover but now we’ve got no excuses,” said the skipper, who will lead County out at home against Forest Green Rovers tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

“We can fully focus on the league and get back on track with a win at Forest Green.

“We’re not in any cup competitions and had a good run of form before the Lincoln game, so we’ve got to be fully focused on the league now.

“If we can string some back-to-back wins together there’s no reason why we can’t mount a promotion push and get in the play-offs.”

Responding to questions concerning his County future, he added: “Obviously I want to play at the highest level possible with Newport County.

“I want to achieve promotion with this club and push on, and I’m just going to keep going until the end of season and see how things go.”

League Two rivals Notts County had been hammered 8-1 by Swansea City in another fourth-round replay just 24 hours before the Exiles’ big night.

A few Newport fans might have feared a similar fate for their side at Wembley when Spurs went 2-0 up through a Dan Butler own goal and Erik Lamela strike.

But Labadie and his troops dug in to prevent Tottenham racking up a much bigger scoreline.

“We all saw what happened in the Swansea game and that’s something we didn’t a repeat of,” he said.

“It was never going to be an easy task, going to Wembley and playing Spurs on their own patch, but we gave a good account of ourselves.

“Maybe we could have nicked a goal and pushed them all the way to the end but it wasn’t meant to be.

“It was an honour to be out there on the pitch with players like they have but we never gave up and kept fighting to the end.

“We all pulled together and worked hard. The whole starting XI and boys that came on did ourselves, our families and the supporters proud.”

He continued: “I think we all knew the way the game was going to pan out.

“They’re a quality side with quality players and we knew it was going to be a slog but we gave a good account of ourselves and did the city proud.

“The fans have been amazing all season but especially on the night, and I’m really thankful to them for coming down and showing their support.”