MIDFIELDER Matty Dolan says Lennie Lawrence’s wealth of experience has proved invaluable to Michael Flynn in the Newport County AFC chief’s bid to lead the Exiles into League One.

Lawrence, who took Dolan’s former club Middlesbrough from the old Second Division into the Premier League in 1992, has more than 1,000 games under his belt as a manager.

The 71-year-old has been involved in four promotions since his playing days ended, the first coming when he was a coach at Lincoln City in 1981.

As a manager, Lawrence took Charlton Athletic up to the top flight five years later, while he steered Cardiff City into the second tier thanks to a 2003 play-off final victory over QPR.

And 12 years ago, Bristol Rovers, with Lawrence as their director of football, were promoted to League One under manager Paul Trollope – the two linked up again at Cardiff in 2016.

Lawrence became part of Flynn’s Rodney Parade backroom staff when the latter was installed as caretaker manager following Graham Westley’s sacking in March 2017.

Acting as first-team management consultant, Lawrence’s expertise helped County’s rookie boss lead the Exiles to League Two survival on the last day of the season.

Flynn can write another chapter in Newport’s history tomorrow if his men overcome Tranmere Rovers in the play-off final at Wembley.

Playmaker Dolan has witnessed first-hand just how valuable Lawrence’s pearls of wisdom have been to Flynn, and he has nothing but praise for the former.

“I think Lennie gets a mention in Sir Alex’s (Ferguson) book, and not many people can say that,” said Dolan.

“Lennie is fantastic, and the gaffer is learning from him. Lennie has his input, and it’s another opinion for the gaffer.

“Lennie’s obviously got that experience and the gaffer has taken that and has his own very good traits as a manager.

“His enthusiasm and man-management are brilliant, and he understands what different players need.

“As a squad, we’ve bought into what the manager wants us to do.

“We could have been down on a number of occasions this season and got ourselves in a rut, but we’ve bounced back and that’s testament to the people at the top.

“Everybody deserves great credit. Jim (Holman) the goalkeeping coach has done a great job with Joe, and you can see what Hats (Wayne Hatswell) has done from the set-pieces we’ve scored from.”

Dolan also insists County will be ready should tomorrow’s final, like the play-off semi-final, go to penalties.

Dolan scored the winning spot-kick at Field Mill, capping a perfect shootout.

“Everyone was confident going into it, we practised, and it was nice to get what we deserved,” he added.

“If you don’t want to take one, just say you don’t want to take one, no-one’s going to think less of you.

“In the semi-final, there will have been boys who were disappointed they didn’t take one, but we got the job done.”