AFTER getting back on track against the Railwaymen, it should be full steam ahead for Newport County AFC at Cambridge United tonight.

Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra at Rodney Parade was an important one as County got their first points on the board in League Two and calmed a lot of nerves following the opening day defeat at Mansfield Town.

Michael Flynn and his team now switch their attention to this evening’s Carabao Cup clash at Cambridge and they will want to build on Saturday’s three points with another positive performance and another win.

The league is always the priority for Flynn and his coaching team and the manager has already stated that there will be changes at the Abbey Stadium.

But, unlike the unloved Checkatrade Trophy, there is definitely no sense that this is a competition that the Exiles could do without.

Everyone would have liked to have avoided such a long midweek trek but it’s a winnable tie and victory would give County the chance to draw bigger opposition and earn some much-needed cash in the second round.

“Cambridge is always a difficult place to go and it will be another challenge that we’ve got to be up for,” said Flynn after Saturday’s win.

“Without looking too far ahead, if we can get through we could get a good draw and some more money in the coffers.

“There will be a few changes because I think people need games to get them up to speed but it won’t be to rest people or weaken the team.”

Flynn made four changes at this stage 12 months ago, giving teenagers Ben White and Shaun McCoulsky their first starts and also bringing in fellow youngster Tom Owen-Evans and veteran David Pipe.

White and Owen-Evans both impressed at League One Southend United and McCoulsky helped himself to two goals to earn a shock 2-0 win.

The draw paired County with Leeds United, who generously agreed to hand over 45 per cent of the gate money despite the tie being switched from Rodney Parade to Elland Road.

And Flynn’s team again did themselves proud on the pitch, leading the Championship side thanks to Joss Labadie’s opener before running out of steam in the closing stages.

The 5-1 win flattered the hosts a little but County famously got their revenge in the FA Cup in January.

After routine home wins over League One Walsall and League Two rivals Cambridge, McCoulsky was again the hero as he headed in a dramatic late winner to dump Leeds out in the third round in front of the TV cameras.

That, of course, led to two terrific ties against Tottenham Hotspur in round four, more money for the club and more magical memories in the bank for the fans.

There is a strong argument that the extraordinary FA Cup run was the major factor in County’s play-off push hitting the buffers in February and March but, on balance, I believe that success in the cups did the club more good than harm.

Flynn, his assistant Wayne Hatswell and management consultant Lennie Lawrence do, however, have a difficult balance to strike in the way that they tackle the cup competitions this time around.

The approach to the FA Cup may be most difficult to judge as it comes at such a crucial stage of the campaign, although the benefits in terms of the potential financial impact and the positive publicity have to be taken into account.

The Carabao Cup is probably easier to go for as it comes so early on in the season.

And, with a small squad to play with and a few injuries to contend with, there may not be too much room for manoeuvring tonight anyway.

It may provide Flynn with an ideal chance to test new goalkeeper Nick Townsend and travelling fans could get to see what the likes of Tyreeq Bakinson have to offer.

But the management team will not want to make too many changes and risk losing not only the tie but also the momentum from Saturday’s success.

Flynn also made clear his frustrations about being unable to add to his squad on transfer deadline day because of a tight budget.

And he knows that a win tonight, coupled with a kind draw on Thursday, could allow him to bring in one more loan signing before the end of the month.

The league may be the bread and butter but County have to sup from the cups too.