LEFT-BACK Ryan Haynes says the mentality of the Newport County AFC defence is so strong that he can’t see anyone in League Two breaking them down.

Last Saturday’s 2-0 win at Forest Green Rovers saw County record a fifth successive clean sheet in the league.

The Exiles back line has not been breached in more than 500 minutes of League Two football – since Danny Rose’s goal for Mansfield Town at Rodney Parade on the opening day of the season.

And Haynes, a summer signing from League One Shrewsbury Town, is confident that they can keep that run going when they host Port Vale at Rodney Parade this weekend.

“We’ve started the season so well defensively and I can’t see any teams breaking us down,” said the 23-year-old.

“Forest Green are a very good team on the ball and even with 10 men they caused us problems.

“But we rose above it and we came away with the three points, which is magnificent.

“It’s a mentality thing – all of us together know that if we keep a clean sheet, we will win the game.

“It’s something that we’ve all worked on, we’re good defensively and it’s showing.”

The record is all the more remarkable considering that Haynes, goalkeeper Tom King, right-back Danny McNamara and central defenders Kyle Howkins and Ryan Inniss are all new to the club this summer.

And Michael Flynn’s men have also lost Mickey Demetriou and Mark O’Brien to injury.

“It’s a shame when people get injured, but I think the people who have come in have stepped up and that’s shown with the clean sheets,” added Haynes.

“It is early doors but getting off to a good start is decent. We just need to keep it going now. We don’t want to let off.

“We need to keep striding and hopefully keep getting the three points and stay unbeaten.

“The unbeaten run is something to be very proud of.”

County have not lost a regular-season game in League Two since March and Haynes believes they can challenge for promotion again after defeat in last season’s play-off final.

“It’s a shame Newport didn’t go up last year, but we’re here to make amends for that,” he said.

“That’s the goal. I came here because I wanted to get promoted.

“That is the main target and, if we keep going as we are, the possibility is there.”

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As well as his defensive duties, Haynes also likes to get forward down the left flank and he scored his first goal for the club – his first since January 2017 – to seal the win at Forest Green.

“I’m delighted to get a goal,” said the former Coventry City defender.

“It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet, but the main thing is the three points and the clean sheet as a defender.

“That’s what I’m more happy with.”

Teammate Padraig Amond is a big fan of Haynes, but he disputes that last statement.

“That is a lie! Did you see the way he celebrated the goal? I don’t think he celebrated the clean sheet like that,” Amond told iFollowExiles.

“He’s been brilliant since he’s come in, especially when he’s had to fill such a big position considering what Dan Butler did for the club and how good he was.

“So far Haynesy’s been excellent and been a more than able replacement for Dan, and he’s only going to get better and better. Long may it continue.”

Exiles boss Flynn is expected to make a host of changes for tonight’s Leasing.com Trophy tie against West Ham under-21s at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.45pm).

But Haynes could feature if fellow left-back George Nurse fails to recover from an ankle injury that has kept him out of the past two games.

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