NEWPORT County AFC striker Padraig Amond admits two tough away trips in the space of four days could be make or break for the club’s ambitions of making the League Two play-offs.

County, who are currently 12th in the table, five points below seventh-placed Forest Green Rovers with a game in hand, go to eight-placed Colchester United tomorrow.

And on Tuesday Michael Flynn’s men head to Northampton Town, who are 16th in the table but are unbeaten in five games.

Speaking to iFollow Exiles, Amond said: “They are both going to be tough games. Colchester will be tough, they’ve been on the receiving end of a bad result against Swindon [a 3-0 defeat last Saturday] and they’ll be wounded.

"When we turn up to play them, they’ll have a lot to play for to try and win back a little pride.

“Then, you have Frank Nouble who’s there as well and he’ll want to prove a point to ourselves that he made the right choice at the beginning of the season [in leaving County for the U’s].

“That’ll add to the spice of the game for us as well but mainly, it’s about taking it each game at a time and making sure we get a positive result, which is really important.

“Northampton have hit a bit of a purple patch and they have a really good side,” he added.

“They’re probably in a false position I think because they are a very good side.

“We played really well against them at home [a 3-1 win in November] but it’ll be a different game now we have to go to their ground – it’s quite open, bigger pitch, and it’ll take a big performance from us.

“[After these games] we could be in a very, very good position or we could be sitting going ‘well that’s it.’

“We want the season to go on for as long as possible and we’ll do everything we can to make sure we’re still in a good position.”

South Wales Argus:

Writing in his weekly column for the Carlow Nationalist newspaper, Amond argued that last week’s impressive win over Carlisle United showed the benefits of rest after a hectic post-Christmas schedule.

“After a run of nine games in just 28 days – which included three massive FA Cup ties – we finally had a full week’s rest before a game and it showed,” said the 30-year-old, who yesterday won his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad.

“That run of games was very tough for us, but it was a month we won’t forget.

“The hardest thing over that period wasn’t the games we played, it was the recovery needed because the same 11-to-13 players played all the games in that time.

“The lads who weren’t playing trained hard, but it can be hard to replicate a proper session when there are only six or seven players training. It was a challenge for coaches and players alike.

“We saw a massive difference [last week] as everyone was able to train fully and the lads who hadn’t been playing felt the benefit of that too.

“We will be hoping that after another tough week’s training we can get onto a winning run to keep on the tails of those above us.

“We can’t really afford to lose the game [tomorrow], although a draw wouldn’t be the worst result in the world.

“If we can get a positive result it will be a massive boost for us as our home form has been excellent and we have a run of home games that we'll be confident of winning.

“We have close to a full squad to choose from now, bar one or two who are nearly back fully fit, so all the excuses are gone out the window and a big two months is needed from us. Hopefully that starts on Saturday.”

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