DEFENDER Mickey Demetriou believes the Newport County AFC players are thriving under pressure as they continue to chase a place in the League Two play-offs.

County enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win at struggling Cambridge United on Saturday to stay in the hunt for a top-seven place with five games to go.

Goals from strikers Padraig Amond, Jamille Matt and Harry McKirdy secured the three points at the Abbey Stadium.

The victory means the Exiles remain five points below seventh-placed Exeter City with a game in hand as they prepare to host second-placed Bury at Rodney Parade on Friday (kick-off 3pm).

And the pressure on Michael Flynn’s men will be ramped up even further if Exeter can beat lowly Crawley Town in their 1pm kick-off.

But, speaking to iFollow Exiles after the win at Cambridge, Demetriou insisted that the players are enjoying the stress.

“Three points was massive because the pressure was on to keep winning to keep this league alive,” said the centre-back.

“We don’t like to do things easy; we like to put pressure on ourselves and we’re doing that.

“It’s a shame because when we dropped points in the last two games [0-0 draws at home to Tranmere Rovers and Swindon Town], they [Exeter] dropped points. Now when we’ve won, they’ve won.

“It would have been nice if they’d dropped points so we could have closed the gap that little bit more, but we go again.

“It’s a massive win and it allows to take confidence into Friday against Bury who are a great team.

“We have to work hard in training this week and we’ll try to put in a performance for ourselves and the fans.

“We had a good game against them at their place [a 1-1 draw in October] and we expect the same from them again.”

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Amond (above) now has 22 goals for the season and Matt is on 18, giving them a combined total of 40. And Demetriou is full of praise for the prolific pairing.

“They’ve been different class this year,” said the 29-year-old.

“It’s nice for them both to get a goal again and they’ll be so pleased to reach that tally.

“We’ve got a massive game Friday now, hopefully we get a big crowd down at Rodney Parade and hopefully they can score again to make it 42 for the season.

“They don’t stop running all game,” he added.

“I haven’t played with many who do that much work for the team.

“I’ve been lucky to have played with a couple of good strikers in my time and these two are right up there.

“I’ve played with Jamma before [at Kidderminster Harriers] and he did it back then and he’s doing it now.

“They deserve all the credit they get, and the goals are just showing how good they are.”

Demetriou was also pleased to see McKirdy score his first goal for the club.

“I’m buzzing for Harry,” he added. “It was his first touch of the game!

“He’s probably frustrated that he hasn’t played as much as he would have liked to, but he’s been working hard off the pitch.

“He’s taken the opportunity and that’s all the gaffer asked him to do.”

Read more: Exiles boss hails 'outstanding' 40-goal front pair

Read more: The talking points from County's 3-0 win at Cambridge