MANAGER Michael Flynn vowed that everyone at Newport County AFC will stick together after Saturday’s opening day defeat at Mansfield Town.

Two goals from Otis Khan and one from Tyler Walker earned the hosts all three points and condemned County to another defeat at Field Mill after last season’s 5-0 humiliation.

The Exiles put in a much better display than on that dark night in February and could have made a game of it late on as Padraig Amond and substitute Josh Sheehan went close in the Nottinghamshire sun.

“It wasn’t as bad as last season – we could have lost 10-0 that night,” said Flynn.

“It’s easy to criticise when you’re not here and, to be honest, I’m not interested in any negativity.

“The boys dug deep and put a shift in and it was a 20-minute spell that cost us.

“I’m not going to overreact and I wouldn’t have overreacted if we’d won either.

“We’ve got to stick together and we go again.”

Flynn did admit that the Stags were the better side, particularly at the start of the second half when Khan bagged a brace.

And he expects a reaction next Saturday at Rodney Parade against Crewe Alexandra, who beat Morecambe 6-0 at home at the weekend.

“You’ve got to give the opposition credit at times,” said the Exiles boss. “You can’t just say we were bad or we were terrible.

“They got on top of the game and had a 20-minute spell and we didn’t manage to see it out.

“You’re going to have those periods in games and you’ve got to see it out. We weren’t able to do that and we go on to next week.

“I’ve said before that Crewe always start well but we’ve got to react now and get ready for it.”

Robbie Willmott and Mark O’Brien missed out at Mansfield but both could be available to face Crewe.

“Robbie and O’Brien were both injured but I’m hoping they will both be fit next week,” said the manager. “I’m hoping we'll have a full squad next week.”

County announced their 10th signing of the summer just three hours before kick-off on Saturday with former Birmingham City and Barnsley goalkeeper Nick Townsend arriving on a two-year deal.

And Flynn is excited by the prospect of the 23-year-old competing with Joe Day for a starting spot.

“He’s a very good goalkeeper,” he said. “He played in the Championship last season and I think it’s a big coup for us because he is very talented and he will push Joe.

“He can 100 per cent challenge Joe and I think it’s going to be a very good battle.

“And what it has done already is raise the level in training because he’s not just a good goalkeeper, he’s a winner as well and he’s demanding the high standards that we all want.”

County are also set to announce the appointment of a new goalkeeping coach after James Bittner departed to work with the Reading under-23 side.