NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn admits success in the FA Cup has protected the club from financial worries over the past two years.

County have earned close to £2m from the world’s oldest cup competition thanks to runs to the round four in 2018 and the round five last season.

Victory at non-league Maldon & Tiptree on Friday night would guarantee the Exiles another £182,000 from this year’s cup run and put them in the hat for another potential clash with one of the Premier League big boys.

And Flynn is in no mood to play down the importance of Friday’s tie.

“I loved the FA Cup growing up and I’ll always love the FA Cup,” said the manager. “I want to do well in the league, but I won’t turn down a cup run either.

“It’s vital for us. Before the Spurs game [in 2018], going back a couple of seasons now, I’d say we were probably struggling to pay wages. It can get that bad.

“That season gave us a lot of leeway and last season, with the finances that we generated, it allowed us to plan and move forward.

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“It’s huge for smaller clubs,” he added. “There are a lot of clubs struggling but thankfully we’re not one of them because of the FA Cup runs.

“If I was to get sacked tomorrow, one thing I think I’ve done is to raise the profile of the club and improved things tenfold.

“That’s a credit to my staff and the players [as well] and hopefully we will continue to do that.”

Goalkeeper Tom King will hope to reclaim his starting spot from Nick Townsend and he’s looking forward to the challenge of taking on eighth-tier Maldon in front of the BBC Two cameras.

“It’s an important one,” said King.

“There’ll be TV cameras there and the fans will be right behind them and making it difficult for us like we do for opposition teams at Rodney Parade.

“We have to go out there and be the team that we are, not the team that they want us to be or that they’re expecting us to be.

“They’ll want to make it a fight and a typical FA Cup underdog tie but we have to grab control of it early, settle ourselves down and not let the occasion get to us.”

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