ANDREW Crofts could take his place for tomorrow night’s home clash with Notts County but teenager Tyreeq Bakinson is relishing the chance to learn from the experienced Wales international.

Captain Crofts has missed the last two games as Newport County AFC won at Cambridge United in the Carabao Cup and held League Two leaders Exeter City to a 1-1 draw at St James Park on Saturday.

Bakinson has impressed in both games while deputising for Crofts, who is managing a painful toe infection, in central midfield.

The skipper should be fit to take on the Magpies at Rodney Parade tomorrow and that could mean that Bakinson makes way.

But the 19-year-old, who is on loan from Bristol City, is fully aware that 34-year-old Crofts has a lot to teach him.

Bakinson told iFollow Exiles: “Us young players, we do love him.

“He’s got so much experience and he’s so vocal, not just in matches but in training as well.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be when you’re on the pitch, he sometimes pulls you to one side after training and tells you that you did this right or you did that wrong.

“It’s good for us because we want to learn, keep on improving and get to where he’s been in his career.

“The key piece of advice he’s given me so far is about being vocal in midfield.

“He’s made me realise how important it is to speak to your other teammates because it makes their job easier.

“It just helps the team stay together. Age doesn’t really matter in terms of being a leader, no matter what your age you have to be vocal and help your teammates out.”

Bakinson also praised Matty Dolan, who he’s played alongside in the past two matches.

“Matty is a very experienced player at this level so he’s been helping me out a lot,” he added.

“I think he’s a very good player, so it makes my job easier when you know you’ve got someone good playing alongside you.

“I just want to do the fans and the manager proud whenever I play for the club, repaying the confidence he has in starting me.”

Bakinson says that the Exiles are full of positivity after recent results.

"There’s a confidence in the training ground,” he said. “We’re doing well in that environment and in matches as well, we’ve got a good team and we go into every game thinking we can win.

"There’s a good mind-set here within this team. And that’s why it’s good going out onto the field because you know you are alongside players who will fight for you.

"Everyone is training well so you have to be on top of your game all the time, the fight for positions is always tough so you always need to stay on it.

“We’ve got a good squad here and we feel like we are doing well."

Tomorrow’s opponents were thumped 4-0 at home by Yeovil Town in their last game and Bakinson expects a reaction from the Magpies after that result.

“Notts County will be another tough test,” he said. “But I feel like the recent performances will mean that we’ll be up for that challenge.

“They will want to come out and prove that they are still a good team and a title contender, so we need to be ready for that.

“We just need to make sure that we don’t get complacent and play well in every game.”