NEWPORT County AFC will have to buck the trend of the last decade if they are to hit the ground running when they kick off the new League Two season at home to Mansfield Town tomorrow.

New research by shows that County rank 84th of the current 92 Premier League and English Football League clubs in terms of opening-day results over the last 10 seasons.

The Exiles have managed only eight points from a possible 30 in their first fixtures of each campaign with two wins, two draws and six losses in that time.

This will be the third time in four years and the fourth time in the past eight years that County have started their league campaign against Mansfield.

Justin Edinburgh’s men won at Field Mill in 2012 on their way to winning promotion to League Two but Warren Feeney’s side were beaten by the Stags at Rodney Parade in 2016 and Michael Flynn’s team lost 3-0 in Mansfield 12 months ago.

South Wales Argus:

Striker Padraig Amond in confident that the Exiles can start with a win this time around, but he says last year’s success proves that the opening-day result does not necessarily set the tone for the whole season.

“Winning or losing this weekend is not going to define the season, as we proved last year, but it’s always nice to start with a win rather than a loss,” said Amond, who helped County overcome Mansfield on penalties in the play-off semi-final in May.

“It’s going to be a tough game. We know exactly what they’re capable of.

“They got a new manager and a few new players, but we know we’re going to be facing a very tough team.

“The aim for us is to start the season with a bang, because our home form has been massive for us over the past few years and we want to make sure that it’s a tough game for everyone who comes to Rodney Parade this year.

“We just want to start the season well, which we have done over the last couple of years, and that puts us in a good position to build on.”

South Wales Argus:

Amond says the survivors of the play-off final defeat to Tranmere Rovers will be using that experience as motivation.

“You have to get over it,” he said. “It’s gone. There’s nothing we can do about it now and no way we can change any of it.

“But we can use that disappointment to get the positives out of it and fuel the desire to go one better this year.”

And, despite the departures of Joe Day and Dan Butler, Amond believes the 10 summer signings will help County mount another promotion bid.

“We’ve lost two really good players but the gaffer has signed some quality players and on paper the squad looks as strong as last year,” said last season’s top scorer.

“You need the new players to come in and hit the ground running and buy into everything that we’re doing and they seem to have settled in pretty quickly."

Read more: Newport County ace Amond aims to improve on 'best season'