NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn believes the pressure is all on Mansfield Town tonight, insisting his side have already overachieved by reaching the League Two play-offs.

Mansfield were ranked amongst the favourites to go up at the start of the season and they were on course to claim the final automatic promotion spot before their final day defeat at MK Dons.

Not many predicted that County would be challenging for a place in League One but a 10-game unbeaten run and an 87th-minute equaliser at Morecambe last Saturday saw them sneak into seventh.

The bookmakers believe the Stags will have too much for the Exiles, and that’s fine by Flynn.

“I’m quite happy with them being favourites,” he said.

“They finished fourth, they’ve got a very good group of players, they’ve got an ambitious manager and a lot bigger budget than us.

“I am surprised they didn’t go up automatically, if I’m honest, considering the quality they’ve got in the squad.

“The pressure is definitely on them. They’re rightfully favourites and we go into the game with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“It’s going to be down to us to upset the odds.”

South Wales Argus:

Flynn believes the club is ahead of schedule in terms of the progress made since he took over in March 2017.

“I think we’re miles ahead,” said the Exiles boss. “We’re way ahead of where we should be.

“We were nearly relegated two years ago and I don’t believe there would have been a Newport County AFC if we’d gone out of the Football League, because of the financial implications.

“Then what we did last season, finishing 11th and going on the FA Cup run and drawing with Spurs at home, was an unbelievable achievement.

“You see Spurs are in the Champions League semi-final a year later, so that goes to show how big that was.

“And this season we’ve beaten Leicester and Middlesbrough and made a game of it against Man City, and there’s not too many Premier League clubs who have done that.

“There is absolutely no pressure on us because we’ve already climbed a mountain to get into the play-offs.”

Having climbed to within sight of the summit, Flynn is confident that his men won’t suffer from altitude sickness and he’s aiming to peak at Wembley on May 25.

“It’s a fantastic achievement, but we are going into to it to win,” he said.

“Just because we’ve overachieved, it doesn’t mean for one second that I don’t think we can win this.

“We can go through and get promoted.

“I’ve got so much belief in these players. They’ve done the business throughout the whole season in the league and in the cups.

“I think it’s 59 games we’ve played already and we want to make it 62.

“It’s a long season, but it’ll be worth it if we manage to pull off a shock.”

Read more: How Liverpool's Champions League triumph can inspire Newport County