JOE Day is keeping the faith, insisting Newport County AFC will be refreshed and revitalised when they take on Carlisle United and ready to fight to keep their season alive.

The goalkeeper saved a first-half penalty against MK Dons on Saturday but a weary County crashed to a 2-0 defeat at Stadium MK.

The result means the Exiles stay 15th in the League Two table and they are now eight points below the play-off places.

Day admitted that the team’s hectic schedule over recent weeks, which has seen them play 13 league and cup games in just 54 days since the turn of the year, was a factor in Saturday’s defeat.

And he’s certain that a blank midweek schedule – for the first time five weeks – will benefit them as they prepare to host eighth-place Carlisle.

“The lads have worked really hard over the last few weeks,” said Day after Saturday’s defeat. “We’ve had a lot of games and sometimes that can take its toll.

“Perhaps that’s a little bit of a factor, but we won’t use that as an excuse.

“We got to half-time level and I thought we could go up a gear and kick on in the second half, but maybe there is a bit of fatigue in the camp.

“We’ll shake that off and make sure we’re ready to go next Saturday.

“From a resting point of view, it’s good to have a week off.

“I prefer playing Tuesday and Saturday, but I think the lads do need a little bit of a break.

“We’ll get the ice out, rest some legs and go into next week fresh then.”

South Wales Argus:

Saturday’s defeat was a missed opportunity for Michael Flynn’s men to climb the table and build on their excellent 4-1 win at Notts County last Tuesday.

“It was a little bit tough to take, but we weren’t at our best,” said Day.

“We were a little bit flat. I thought we’d go into the game pretty confident after the result in midweek [at Notts County] so it’s disappointing.

“But we can’t get too down. Not many teams will go to MK and pick up points.

“They’re a good, organised outfit. We can’t be too disappointed and we’ve got to move on quickly.

“We were flat in a game that we should have gone into with lots of confidence,” he added.

“It was an opportunity to back up that result [at Meadow Lane] and get some momentum going, but two away trips in a week is tough.

“We’ve got three points out of six and we’ll have to take that and move on to Saturday.”

And, with 13 games still to play, Day is definitely not writing off the team’s chances of a top-seven finish this season.

“There’s loads of points to play for,” said the Exiles number one.

“We’re taking each game as it comes. It’s a cliché, but it’s what we’ve got to do.

“As long as we stay within touching distance, I always fancy us to go on a run – you never know.”

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