LEAGUE Two player of the month Joe Day is convinced the Newport County AFC can upset the odds once again by overcoming Mansfield Town to make the League Two play-off final at Wembley.

Mansfield, who ended the season in fourth, are the favourites with the bookmakers to win the play-offs.

County, who finished seventh, are fourth-favourites – behind the other semi-finalists Forest Green Rovers and Tranmere Rovers.

The Exiles were beaten 3-0 at Field Mill on the opening day of the season last August and won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Rodney Parade in February.

Most observers believe Michael Flynn’s men will need to make the most of home advantage in Thursday's first leg if they are to stand any chance of getting past the Stags, who just missed out on automatic promotion.

But Day, who was named Sky Bet League Two player of the month for April, is confident that they can take the momentum of a 10-game unbeaten end to the regular season into the play-offs.

The goalkeeper, who has conceded just three goals in those 10 games, told iFollow Exiles: “I think everyone associated with Newport County would have bitten your hand off for this at the start of the season.

“We’re not the same team from the start of the season, but Mansfield aren’t the same team either.

“Previous games mean nothing, this is the play-offs, it’s two legs now and it’ll be who holds their nerve and handles the pressure. We’ll give it absolutely everything.

“For all the team, it’s been an unbelievable run,” added the 28-year-old. “When you get seven clean sheets in 10, it gives you a right chance.

“We know that if we stay in the game with a clean sheet then we’ve always got a chance with our strike force.

“That’s what we’ve based this run on – keeping it steady at the back and not conceding many.

“I think it goes to show that it’s clicked for us and it’s worked very well.”

South Wales Argus:

In contrast to County’s fine end to the season, Mansfield lost their last three games to slip out of the top three.

“We didn’t really care who we played,” said Day. “We fancy ourselves and we’ll be confident.

“I don’t know how Mansfield are feeling right now. Of course, if I was in their position then I’d be a bit gutted. But they’re a professional outfit.

“We’re full of confidence, but we’ll have to go into it level headed.

“I’ll sure they’ll be two great games and something we’re looking forward to already.”

Day also joined his manager and goal hero Jamille Matt in praising the fans for their support during the 1-1 draw at Morecambe on Saturday that secured their play-off place.

“It’s a crazy away following,” said Day of the 871 who made the 450-mile round trip to the Lancashire coast and back.

“They’ve been behind us all season and is part of the reason we’ve got to where we are.

“From the first minute to the end they kept us going, we could hear them all game.

“It’s just as much their club as it is ours as players.

"We’ve got to thank them for their support and celebrate with them.

“Let’s keep that going now for at-least two more games.”

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