MICHAEL Flynn has upped the ante ahead of Newport County AFC’s clash with Northampton Town tonight by declaring it a “cup final”.

Exiles boss Flynn saw his side lose ground in the race for promotion from League Two on Saturday thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Colchester United.

County are seven points adrift of the final play-off place, but with 33 points still up for grabs between now and the end of the season, a shot at promotion cannot be ruled out.

The second of three games in seven days for Flynn’s men – they host Cheltenham Town on Friday – sees them face a Northampton team on a three-match winning streak.

Keith Curle’s Cobblers sit 14th in the table, two places and one point behind County, who won the reverse fixture last November 3-1 with Josh Sheehan, Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond on target.

“I’m just trying to win as many games as we can before the end of the season and see where it takes us,” said Flynn.

“We always knew it was going to be two tough away games and I said I wanted to win one.

“Tuesday is a cup final now.”

He added: “I didn’t rant and rave (at Colchester). I had a lot of time to think about what I was going to say.

“Sometimes when you go in you can have heated emotions.

“I had a lot of time to digest and try and see how we can improve going into Tuesday.”

A surprise addition to the matchday squad on Saturday was 21-year-old winger Will Randall, who signed for the club until the end of the season after being released by Wolves in January.

Before leaving Molineux, Swindon-born Randall spent the first part of the campaign on loan at Spanish side FC Jumilla, who play in Segunda Division B.

“He’s very good technically, he’s creative, and it was just about getting some minutes into his legs,” said Flynn after giving Randall his debut off the bench.

“He didn’t have much ball and it was just about getting him up to speed.

“I’ve had him in training with us. He played against us last season for Forest Green and I liked him.

“He became available when he got released by Wolves in January, and he’s been in for three weeks training with us.

“I’ve had a close look at him and we’ve got him on a short-term deal which gives us enough time to have a proper look at him before making a decision in the summer.”

During his time at Wolves, Randall was also sent out on loan to Walsall.

“He has fitted in well with the lads and gives us more strength in depth until the end of the season,” added Flynn.

After signing a short-term deal, Randall said: “I’m delighted to sign for Newport. I’ve been training here for a few weeks and I can’t wait to get started.”