MICHAEL Flynn and Newport County AFC will be looking to make the most of home comforts when they take on Cheltenham Town tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

County have earned 34 of their 49 points so far this season at Rodney Parade and have only lost three league matches at home.

Successive defeats on the road at Colchester United and Northampton Town have dented their hopes of claiming a place in the League Two play-offs.

The Exiles are now eight points below seventh-placed Colchester with a game in hand and tonight’s meeting with Cheltenham, which was brought forward to avoid a clash with tomorrow’s Six Nations finale, offers a chance to put some pressure on the teams above them.

A win would lift Flynn’s men to 11th and five points off the top seven ahead of tomorrow’s fixtures, but the manager is not expecting an easy night against a side who have beaten his team twice already this season.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” he said.

“They’ve improved, got good players, they’re hard-working and it’s whoever takes their chances.

“Cheltenham are on a decent run. If we would have had their form from when we played them [in November] then we’d have been sixth in the table.

“It’s a bit frustrating, but it is what it is.”

Flynn admitted after Tuesday’s defeat at Northampton that his side’s away form was not good enough to sustain a promotion push.

It was County’s 12th league defeat on the road and they have won only once away from Rodney Parade since September.

“We have been strong at home but, unfortunately, you don’t play all your games at home,” said Flynn.

“The away form hasn’t been good enough. You don’t need me to say that because it’s there for everyone to see.

“In the 12 games we’ve lost away from home, we’ve conceded 30 and scored nine. It’s not good enough.

“We should have got at least six points out of those 12 games. That would have changed everything and is probably the difference between the play-offs and teams in mid-table.

South Wales Argus:

“With the Colchester game I have no complaints because we were outplayed, we were nowhere near and they were very good.

“But we needed to be picking up a point at least on Tuesday, because they are the ones that drag you through and keep you ticking over.

“It’s nothing psychological [away from home],” he added. We just switch off and we have done that at home sometimes this season.

“You look at the Cambridge game where we won 4-2 [in September], they still took the lead. We went through a period of giving teams an advantage and that was home and away.

“It’s not psychological. It’s more a lack of application, shall we say.”

With next Saturday’s home clash with Oldham Athletic postponed due to the Latics’ international call-ups, County will have a 15-day break after tonight’s match and Flynn knows it’s vital to get points on the board.

“There’s no advantage [of playing before everyone else],” he said. “We’ve got to win the game.

“We’re just taking every game as it comes now.

“We need to get as many wins as we can and see where we end up.

“You always want to improve and we’ve got the top teams at home and the bottom teams away from home so it’s going to be difficult, but we’ll be ready for it.

“I’ve said we’ve got to put a run together where we get back-to-back wins and then we have to start nicking a few points away from home as well.

“It’s not all doom and gloom,” added Flynn.

“The boys are working hard and they’ve all got a smile on their face, which I’m glad of.

“I haven’t got any time for any sulking or feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to go out now and try to do the business.”

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