FORMER captain Joss Labadie insists Newport County AFC will fight to the end and will not give up on their play-off dream.

Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Northampton Town, which came three days after a 3-0 reverse at Colchester United, saw County slip to 13th in the League Two table.

With 10 fixtures remaining, Michael Flynn’s men are eight points below seventh-placed Colchester with a game in hand.

It’s an uphill task, but Labadie is adamant that the players will not give up the fight.

“Stranger things have happened,” said the midfielder, who led the Exiles to the Great Escape from relegation in 2017 when they won seven of their final 12 games of the season.

“We’re going to need a great back end to the season but we’ve done it before and until it’s mathematically impossible we won’t be giving up.

“We’re progressing year-on-year and we want to go one better than last year and try to reach the play-offs.

“We’re going to keep going until the end.”

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Tuesday’s defeat at Sixfields came courtesy of an 88th-minute super-strike from Cobblers substitute Joe Powell after the Exiles had missed a number of decent chances.

“Whenever you lose it’s tough to take, especially when you put in a decent performance,” said Labadie.

“I thought we were the better team throughout. I’ve had a chance, Jamma [Jamille Matt] has had a chance. We had chances to put the game to bed but we didn’t do it and we came away with nothing again.

“But the organisation wasn’t there at the end – we didn’t have someone on the edge of the box and it was a great strike from the lad.”

County have a chance to bounce back quickly when they host Cheltenham Town at Rodney Parade tomorrow night (kick-off 7.45pm).

A win would lift to 11th in the table and just five points off the top seven with nine games to play and Labadie knows that their home form will be key if they are to put pressure on the teams above them.

“We’re lucky that the games are coming thick and fast now and we’ve got a chance to rectify it quickly,” said the 28-year-old.

“We’ve got to regroup and try to get the three points on Friday night.

“We enjoy playing at home and getting the fans right behind us. It’s a completely different ball-game there.

“We’re confident that, whoever comes to Rodney Parade, we can put in a shift and take three points.”

And with Oldham Athletic heading to Newport a week on Saturday, Labadie is targeting back-to-back wins to get the club right back into the mix.

He added: “It’s something that we’ve not done recently and I believe if we do that then we’ve got a real chance of cutting that gap, climbing the table and getting in the play-offs.”

Read more: The talking points from defeat at Northampton

Read more: Away form not good enough for play-offs, admits Flynn