MARK O’Brien admits the Newport County AFC players have a point to prove against Northampton Town tomorrow night after defeat at Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

O’Brien came off the bench alongside Andrew Crofts to inspire a second-half fightback at Whaddon Road but, despite Antoine Semenyo’s late strike, Mickey Demetriou’s missed penalty meant the Exiles were beaten 2-1 by the Robins.

The defeat saw County drop from third to fifth in the League Two table and they are determined to put things right against mid-table Northampton at Rodney Parade.

O’Brien told iFollow Exiles: “We’re extremely disappointed because we all know that we’re much better than that performance.

"We showed in the second-half that we could be a completely different side and proved why we are where we are in the league table.

“But I do honestly think we didn’t get it right in the first-half in the sense that Cheltenham picked up every second ball.

“When you come away from home, those are the essentials really, you have to come and fight.

“It’s now a matter of how we bounce back. We’ll dust ourselves off and go onto the next game.

“We’ve done that before already this season and we know we’re capable of doing that again.

“It’s going to be another tough game and we know we’ve got to prove a point.”

But O’Brien is well aware that the Cobblers, who have climbed from 21st to 15th since Keith Curle was appointed as manager last month, will be no pushovers.

"No matter what time you play Northampton Town, they are always going to be a tough side to play against,” said the Irishman.

"They’ve just come down from League One and you always expect a tough game from a team relegated in the previous season.

“We know that it’s them coming to our back yard and we know that on our day, in our stadium, with the fans behind us that we’re capable of anything.

"We’ve shown that in the past and we’ve shown it this season as well. We know it’s going to be a tough game but if we’re all at our best as a squad then hopefully we can grab the win.

"Anyone in any league wants to make their home a fortress. We know that most teams that come to Rodney Parade don’t really fancy coming down to us. We’ve just got to keep that momentum up and give the opposition what they expect."

O’Brien and Crofts are both in contention to start tomorrow after recovering from their respective injury problems.

“We have both sat around and bided our time waiting for the chance to return,” said the centre-back.

"For any footballer, it’s always frustrating when you’re injured because all you want to do is play football.

“To be close to playing then having to drop out again, sitting and watching so many games, it is a very frustrating thing.

“Crofty’s back now, which is a real positive. He’s kept himself well during his injury and he was able to come on and put a shift in for 45 minutes having been out for so long.

"It’s a massive positive for us having people like him back and we’re hoping to get a few more back. It’s a really busy period for the team so we’ll need more depth within the squad.”