THERE weren’t too many reasons to be cheerful for Newport County AFC after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Colchester United, but one major boost for manager Michael Flynn was the return of his assistant Wayne Hatswell.

Flynn’s right-hand man has been away from the club since the beginning of the month due to a personal issue.

Hatswell missed the wins over Carlisle United and Scunthorpe United, the Trophy defeat to Exeter City and last week’s 1-1 home draw with Crawley Town.

“He’s away with personal problems and we’re doing everything we can to support him,” explained Flynn earlier this month.

But the 44-year-old former County defender, who was also part of Justin Edinburgh’s coaching team at Rodney Parade between 2013 and 2015, was back on duty at Colchester on Saturday.

And, despite the result, Flynn was happy to have Hatswell alongside him on the bench at the JobServe Community Stadium.

“Yeah, welcome back Wayne!” joked the Exiles boss.

“It’s good to have him back. I’ve got good staff around me and we all muck in, we all go above and beyond, but now Wayne comes back in and picks up where he left off.”

Flynn says Hatswell is a key part of his coaching team, which also includes management consultant Lennie Lawrence, coach Danny Elliot and goalkeeping coach Jim Holman.

“Wayne’s a big part of it,” said the manager. “You’ll never hear me say ‘it’s all down to me’ and ‘Michael Flynn this’ or ‘Michael Flynn that’.

“It’s not about Michael Flynn, it’s about us as a team on and off the pitch and it’s a collective effort.”

South Wales Argus:

Flynn has been regularly linked to jobs elsewhere after a successful first two-and-a-half years as a manager and he would be keen to take Hatswell with him if and when he does move on to another club.

Hatswell could also be a contender to eventually succeed Flynn in the Exiles hotseat, but operational chairman Gavin Foxall earlier this month said the board of directors have not discussed a succession plan.

“You’ve got to deal in the here and now,” said Foxall, who recently agreed a new deal with Flynn, extending his contract up to June 2022.

“We’ve had dialogue with Michael over a period of time about a new deal, he’s agreed that and we move forward.

“I speak to him every day and he’s got good relationships with all members of the board.

“We’ve got that close relationship that exists and I’m just really pleased that we’ve managed to get what we’ve got.

“It’s great for him and his family and it’s great for this football club.”

Foxall also confirmed that Flynn’s new contract contains an increased compensation fee for the club if the manager is tempted away from his hometown club.

“Like all these things that we put in place, we ensure that both parties are treated equally and fairly and to ensure that all parties are protected accordingly,” said the chairman.

“That goes for any of the deals that we’ve done with him over the time that he’s been the manager.”

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