SCOT Bennett is in the mix for a return to action for Newport County AFC against Barrow at Rodney Parade tomorrow – but Kevin Ellison is being held back despite his protests to boss Michael Flynn.

Utility man Bennett hasn't featured in the four games at the start of 2020/21 after a dramatic summer.

The 29-year-old Cornishman was initially released because County couldn't offer a fresh contract in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

Striker Jamille Matt was in the same boat and was signed by Forest Green Rovers but Bennett remained unattached and was given a one-year deal in August.

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He played in the final pre-season fixture at Hereford but was absent for the Carabao Cup wins against Swansea City and Cambridge, the EFL Trophy defeat to Cheltenham and the League Two opener at Scunthorpe.

But Bennett is back in the mix to be involved against EFL new boys Barrow along with Matty Dolan, who was forced off at half-time at Glanford Park last weekend.

Whether the duo are brought back into a XI that performed superbly in the 1-0 win against Cambridge is another matter, while Flynn is also playing the long game with Ellison.

The 41-year-old was signed ahead of the season but the manager, who has plenty of forward options, knows that it's a long campaign and wants to have the veteran fully fit before adding to his 658 league appearances.

"He is valuable around the place and is not somebody that I am going to rush," said Flynn, who started with Tristan Abrahams and Ryan Taylor with Scott Twine in support at Scunthorpe then brought in Padraig Amond for Taylor against Cambridge.

"I am going to make sure he is up to full speed, but he is looking good and is chomping at the bit.

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"He's already in my ear! But we will do what we feel is best for the long term, he understands that because is a very good professional. We will know when the time is right."

Ellison is being held back while Flynn admits he will leave a number of players disappointed with his team selection for the Rodney Parade encounter with Barrow.

The Exiles have started the season impressively to leave their boss with a number of selection headaches.

Dolan was key to the win against Swansea but on-loan Swan Brandon Cooper slotted in nicely in between Kyle Howkins and Mickey Demetriou against Cambridge.

Robbie Willmott earned the praise of his boss for doing the midfield dirty work for playmaker Josh Sheehan after coming in for captain Joss Labadie.

All three starting forwards have done well while on-loan Bristol City prospect Saikou Janneh has added energy from the bench.

"We've started well and need to continue," said Flynn. There are things that we need to work on and improve, there are things that are going really well.

"I am sure the players are itching to get in that starting XI because we have got competition for places now.

"We will have some disappointed people but they have to react in the right way and show they are willing to work hard for a place in the team.

"We have got a good group and those out of the group need to work even harder to get in the team.

"Those in the team know that there are people breathing down their necks.

"Me and my staff won't allow anybody to take their foot off the gas."