THE Newport County AFC injury crisis has got worse ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Mansfield Town with the news that goalkeeper Nick Townsend has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

County have also lost defenders Ashley Baker and Dan Leadbitter to potentially season-ending injuries and are also without Ryan Haynes and George Nurse.

Townsend missed Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Walsall with what was described as a minor calf strain but the injury is much worse than first feared.

The latest blow means that the Exiles now have no fit right-backs, no left-backs and no back-up goalkeeper to number one Tom King.

Manager Michael Flynn is also missing centre-back Mark O’Brien and midfielders Matty Dolan and Josh Sheehan this weekend, while January loan signing Otis Khan is unable to play against his parent club.

“There’s no improvement,” said the Exiles boss. “It’s dire straits. It’s really bad.

“We need a goalkeeper now as well because Nick is probably out for the season as well.

“That’s three out for the season. It’s unbelievable, and we haven’t got a youth team goalkeeper [capable of stepping up].

“On top of that, Otis can’t play so we’re up against it.”

South Wales Argus:

Flynn has been trying to bring in a free agent to fill in at right-back but has had no luck so far.

“There’s been no progress,” he said. “I’ve been trying and trying but we’ll have to go with what we’ve got.

“It’s frustrating. We’ve still no left-backs and no right-backs. I’ve never known anything like it throughout my career as a player or a manager.

“We had injuries last season, but not as bad as this.

“We’ve been through the list of players and I think nearly every player in the squad has been injured this season.

“There have been some freak ones like the fractured skull [for Kyle Howkins], Josh Sheehan’s gash on his foot, Mark O’Brien’s knee from a shot and Mickey Demetriou’s broken leg.

“But we’ve had five or six hamstring injuries and there’s only four players who haven’t been injured.

“Tom King is one and the other three only arrived in January so they haven’t had time to get injured yet.”

Asked if Wednesday’s Trophy semi-final against Salford City would affect his selection tomorrow, Flynn said: “No, I haven’t got enough players for it to come into my thinking.”

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