NEWPORT County AFC will be up against the best player in League Two today, according to manager Michael Flynn.

Danny Mayor returns from a three-game ban for second-placed Bury in time to take on County at Rodney Parade this afternoon, and he’s the man that makes the Shakers tick.

The attacking midfielder has scored 10 goals this season and supplied the ammunition for strikers Nicky Maynard, Dom Telford and Caolan Lavery, who have hit the net 40 times between them.

Fellow Bury midfielder Jay O’Shea, who has 16 goals to his name, was also selected for the League Two team of the season alongside Mayor.

But Flynn is convinced that there’s nobody better in the fourth tier than the 28-year-old former Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday man.

“For me, Danny’s the best player in the league,” said the Exiles boss.

“He’s an exceptional talent and I don’t know why he isn’t playing higher. He should be.

“Sometimes people find their comfort zone and he’s obviously happy there, but with the ability he’s got he should be playing higher.

“Maynard is a threat and O’Shea is very talented as well. They’ve got a lot of good players and it’s going to be a very tough game.

“They’ve got a good young manager in Ryan Lowe and some very talented players and they’re up there for a reason – because they’re a good team.

“It’s going to be an exciting game. I’m looking forward to it, but we know that nothing less than our best is going to be good enough.”

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County secured a 1-1 draw at Gigg Lane in October, but Flynn rates the home side’s performance that night as one of the best against his team throughout the campaign.

“I thought they were excellent,” he said. “Colchester away were good, Forest Green at our place were good, Swindon I thought were very good.

“The three teams I’ve mentioned are all going for the play-offs, so it’s no secret. They’re the teams who have caused us problems.

“I also thought Yeovil were brilliant when they beat us 6-0, but that hasn’t panned out.

“There are a lot of good sides in this division and this season there’s nobody cut adrift and relegated already.

“And there’s only one team promoted so far. It’s a very tight division. There are still 10 teams going for the play-offs and fighting for one place, maybe two.”

County start the Easter weekend in 12th position, five points behind seventh-placed Exeter City with a game in hand.

After taking on Bury this afternoon, Flynn’s men go to relegation-threatened Macclesfield Town on Monday.

They then host leaders Lincoln City on April 27 and fellow play-off hopefuls Oldham Athletic on April 30, before ending the campaign at Morecambe on May 4.

“We’ve definitely got to win three out of five,” admitted Flynn.

“There’s still a long way to go and we’re just hoping that other teams slip up, because otherwise we’re not going to be close enough.

“They’re all winnable, but they’re all losable as well. There are different pressures on the other teams.

“I’m hoping Lincoln win this weekend, because I think they win the title then and that will be better for us [when we play them].

“Bury are fighting for automatic promotion, and then there are teams at the bottom end of the table who are fighting to stay up.

“They are different games but, ultimately, we’ve got to treat everyone the same and concentrate on ourselves.”

To that end, Flynn is not concerned by Bury’s recent off-field problems: “I don’t look at that at all. It doesn’t come into my thinking. It’s nothing to do with me.”

And he won’t be checking on how Exeter get on at home to struggling Crawley at 1pm today: “I’m not interested in Exeter. The only time I’ll start worrying about Exeter is on the last day of the season when they play Forest Green.

“If we win our next four games, that’s maybe when we might get our chance to overtake them.”

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