OPERATIONAL chairman Gavin Foxall believes Newport County AFC “over-delivered” this season and he has challenged manager Michael Flynn to repeat the trick for the 2018-2019 campaign.

A year on from the Great Escape when County celebrated avoiding relegation on the final day of the 2016-2017 season, the Exiles finished in a comfortable 11th place in League Two.

Flynn’s men also made a big impact in the cup competitions, beating League One clubs Southend United and Walsall, and Championship giants Leeds United before taking the Premier League stars of Tottenham Hotspur to a memorable replay at Wembley.

Foxall is full of praise for the job done by Flynn and his staff and optimistic that the club can continue to progress.

“It’s really strange because if you think back to the euphoria created by the Great Escape, when we were a minute away from going out of the Football League, the buzz it created around the city and the momentum that it created was just incredible,” said the chairman.

“This year it all feels a bit flat and it’s really strange that it feels like that because everyone involved and all the supporters should actually be celebrating what we’ve achieved.

“This year the job that has been done has been absolutely phenomenal.

“To carry on the momentum of the Great Escape and build on that with a great start was fabulous.

“We had all those away games at the start of the season but the fans travelled in their numbers and Flynny and the boys delivered.

“Then we had the fantastic cup runs – beating Southend and going and matching Leeds for 45 minutes in the League Cup was incredible.

“The FA Cup run was amazing but it obviously did destabilise things a little bit,” he added.

“We had a very difficult February after the euphoria of the Tottenham games and we had disappointing results against the likes of Barnet and Stevenage.

“But I think the end of the season was exceptional, beating Accrington, Cambridge and Swindon and getting a good draw at Carlisle as well.”

With 14 players already signed up for next season, Foxall is convinced that County are in a good position to progress further under Flynn, assistant Wayne Hatswell and management consultant Lennie Lawrence.

“I’ve got nothing but admiration for Michael and Hats and the boys for what they did last season in keeping that momentum going and finishing where we did in the league with that cup run as well,” he said.

“Lennie always talks about the turnaround from where we were to where we are now and what we’ve delivered for the city of Newport. It’s been absolutely fantastic.

“Hopefully next season we can top that. I think it’s a tall order because I think that we have over-delivered and that raises expectation levels.

“But I think we can overachieve again. If you look at the nucleus we’ve got in the squad already this is probably the best planning position we’ve been in for a number of years.”