NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn has warned his players that they risk missing out on the club’s FA Cup showdown with Middlesbrough if they under-perform in League Two.

County have been drawn away to Championship promotion hopefuls Boro, who are managed by Newport-born Tony Pulis, in the FA Cup fourth-round after shocking Premier League Leicester City on Sunday.

But the Exiles have two important league games before the long trip to Teesside, which will be over the weekend of January 25 to January 28.

Flynn’s men host Exeter City at Rodney Parade on January 19 and they go to Crewe Alexandra this Saturday looking for a first win in League Two since November 27.

“I don’t think the players will have Middlesbrough on their mind but they are playing for their places [in that game],” said the Exiles boss.

“I’m trying to get a few players in as well, so if they’re not producing the goods then they won’t be in the team.

“There’s going to be competition for places again because near enough everyone is back so let’s see who wants to keep their shirt and who doesn’t.

“I’m not getting carried away just because we’ve won a football match [against Leicester],” he added.

“It was a fantastic occasion, it was excellent for the football club and brilliant for people’s profiles and confidence.

“It was a perfect day, but it will make it even better if we go and get three points on Saturday.”

South Wales Argus:

League Two will be the priority for the next two weeks for Flynn, but he admits he is relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against former County player Pulis (above).

“We’ve had a few texts already and, funnily enough, I spoke to him last Friday because I was after a player,” he said.

“We had a good conversation then and Tony is as good as gold.

He’s Newport born and bred, he’s played for the club, he went to the same high school as myself [St Joseph’s], we’re both from Pill, he’s still got the Newport twang, and I know his family – I know his brother Ray really well – so it’s nice.

“Tony is somebody I’ve always respected. I’ve played against one of his teams and now it will be good to lock horns as a manager against him.

“He’s had an excellent career,” added Flynn. “He’s been there, seen it and done it. He’s been everywhere.

“He’s a great manager. He gets a bit of stick, but he wins football matches and you have to be careful what you wish for sometimes.

“He had a great affinity with Stoke. He won promotion with them and made them a solid Premier League club and they went down not long after [Pulis left].

“West Brom did the same and you’ve just got to weigh up what you want and what the fans want.

“I’ve got a long way to go to catch Tony Pulis. I wouldn’t mind half his career at the moment, I’ll never get carried away.”