NEWPORT County AFC stalwart Scot Bennett admits that there were some home truths delivered in the Rodney Parade dressing room after Saturday’s defeat to Oldham Athletic.

County crashed to a second successive home defeat in League Two and a third loss on the bounce in the league to drop to 11th in the table.

Manager Michael Flynn kept the players locked in the dressing room for half an hour after the final whistle and Bennett admits that a constructive discussion took place between the players and the coaching staff.

“We had a chat after the game on Saturday in the changing room about what’s going on and why we haven’t hit the heights in the past two weeks,” said the 28-year-old former skipper.

“We know the fans are frustrated and that’s understandable after the last few home games – even the win against Grimsby [in the FA Cup] when we weren’t very good in the first half.

“Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition, but we haven’t matched the high standards we’ve set recently and we know we need to improve.

“Things are just not going our way at the moment but we’re working hard and we’re confident that we can overcome this little blip.

“It’s a long season and you always get ups and downs but we’ve put Saturday behind us now and we’re ready to go again.

“We’ve got a few days now to prepare for Friday night and we’ll be looking to start another little unbeaten run.”

Next up is a trip to eighth-tier Maldon & Tiptree in the FA Cup second round, live on BBC Two on Friday night (kick-off 7.55pm).

The Exiles have enjoyed the cup limelight over the past two seasons with victories over Leeds United, Leicester City and Middlesbrough, a draw against Tottenham Hotspur and a battling defeat to Manchester City.

South Wales Argus:

But it is last year’s 2-0 first-round win at Metropolitan Police, thanks to goals from Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt, that provides the blueprint for success against Maldon, according to Bennett.

“We know all about the magic of the FA Cup,” said the County utility man.

“We’ve been in Maldon’s shoes as the underdogs and we all know that it’s been selected for TV because there’s obviously the chance of an upset.

“We know their fans will be up for it and they will come at us, thinking they can beat us.

“We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“We have to be professional, be switched on and take our chances.

“The boys did it at Met Police last year,” added Bennett, who was an unused substitute last November as he recovered from injury.

“That was a similar sort of challenge and we handled it brilliantly.

“We have to do the same again. We need to be prepared to battle before we express ourselves and show our quality.”

Read more: Free-scoring Maldon & Tiptree a real danger to Newport County