IS the Newport County AFC love affair with the cups over? It certainly appears that way.

A week on from a brilliant BBC Wales documentary (lovingly crafted by Steve Horton and Francis Jones) celebrating the club’s giantkilling feats in last season’s FA Cup, manager Michael Flynn has made his lukewarm feelings for the Carabao Cup crystal clear.

Otherwise known as the EFL Cup and historically the League Cup, the competition has always been seen as an inferior younger brother of the FA Cup – as opposed to the EFL Trophy, which is viewed as the ugly sister.

Under Flynn, County have made it to the second round in consecutive seasons and bagged a trip to Leeds United in round two back in 2017.

During Terry Butcher’s brief reign in 2015 they went out at Wolverhampton Wanderers in round one, while Justin Edinburgh’s men secured a memorable win at Brighton & Hove Albion before bowing out at West Bromwich Albion in 2013 and Reading the following year.

Those are mostly happy memories for Exiles fans, while older generations will also fondly recall ties with Everton (twice), Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and both Bristol clubs in the 1980s.

But the Carabao Cup doesn’t offer the same financial rewards as the FA Cup and Flynn is clearly prioritising the league at this stage of the season.

In a refreshingly honest interview, the Exiles boss admitted to the Argus that he isn’t taking the competition seriously this season.

Flynn even told the fans not to attend tonight’s tie at Gillingham, urging them to save their money for Saturday’s league clash with Plymouth Argyle.

The former Gills player may not even be there himself tonight.

“I might go and watch Plymouth against Leyton Orient,” said Flynn. “I don’t know yet. I’ll have to think about that.

“I’m not taking it seriously. There’s no competition money in there and I’ve got to concentrate on what’s important.

“I’ll always try to win, but it’s not something that I’m going to get het up over.”

Asked what he would he say to the fans who are planning to make the journey to Priestfield, he responded: “I’d say stay at home. Save your money for the Plymouth game.”

South Wales Argus:

His comments haven’t gone down well with some fans, especially those who have already shelled out for tickets and travel.

And the club are also not best pleased, especially coming on the back of his revelations about the embarrassing comedy of errors at Cambridge United on Saturday.

But he’s certainly not the only boss who will be resting key men this evening.

Danny Cowley has also conceded that Lincoln City may have to “sacrifice” the Carabao Cup this season.

The Imps travel to Championship side Huddersfield Town but Cowley said: “Our focus will be the league. We would love to be able to have a go but we haven’t got the depth. It’s a competition we will have to sacrifice.”

Speaking after Saturday’s victory at Rotherham, Cowley added: “There are three objectives for me.

“One is not to injure any key players who aren’t ready to play back-to-back games.

“The second is not to throw any of the young kids under the bus, I’m scared of that, and the third one is not to get beat heavily.

“We’ll go there and give it a right go, I can promise you that. Whatever 11 we play will fight really hard, but we’re respectful of the fact they were a Premier League team this time last year. We know it’s going to be tough.”

And Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he too will make several changes to his team for their trip to Luton Town

"We'll definitely have to look at a few changes. We have to. There is no other option." said Lambert.

"We've got a game Saturday, a game Tuesday, a game Saturday, maybe another midweek game the following week, then a game Saturday.

"For me it's too many games. It's not healthy for the game.”

County have made millions from their remarkable runs in the FA Cup over the past two seasons and I’m sure the attitude will be different once the first round of the world’s oldest cup competition arrives in November.

But it’s also undeniable that success in the cups has made it more difficult for the Exiles to challenge in League Two.

Flynn’s comments suggest that he is throwing everything at a promotion bid this time around and if he could achieve that in May (or even better, April), nobody will remember a Carabao Cup exit at Gillingham.

Read more: Newport County boss tells fans to give Carabao Cup tie a miss