COUNTY boss Michael Flynn has backed the members of his squad who missed penalties midweek ahead of tomorrow's clash with Mansfield Town.

Ryan Taylor and Brandon Cooper missed from the spot after The Exiles' fourth round Carabao Cup tie against Premier League Newcastle United couldn't be decided during 90 minutes.

Cooper's kick resigned County to a defeat which will sting after what was an impressive performance, with Cooper himself having excelled during the game.

"It’s live on Sky. Nobody wanted to miss a penalty," said Flynn.

"They didn’t get any criticism from me after the game, in front of all the lads. I wanted to reassure them, afterwards, that there’s no blame on their shoulders.

"I fully back them and fully support them and help them to get their heads up."


He said that even the greats of the game have come up short when the pressure if on from 12 yards.

"There have been bigger and better players in the world who have missed penalties," he said.

"I remember when I was younger, Roberto Baggio missing one in the World Cup. I think it was the semi-final.

"I couldn’t believe it, couldn’t believe Roberto Baggio missed a penalty.

"He was that good, but it happens."

Flynn is developing a reputation not only as a manager who is passionate about his club and the way in which they play, but also about supporting his players mentally whether they play well or make a mistake.

He said that this was not always something that he was afforded as a player.

"As long as I had a manager who was straight with me, I didn’t care whether they liked me or not," he said.

"Some of the managers I’ve had have been very harsh or hard to tell the truth.

"That’s fine, I can handle that.

"I can take it on the chin and do whatever I could to bounce back and improve."

Both of the players who missed penalties in Wednesday night's cup game put in impressive performances otherwise.

Brandon Cooper in particular put in a number of excellent last-ditch challenges and blocks to keep his side in the game until the final whistle.

Tristan Abrahams had put the League Two side in the lead after just five minutes.

County looked more than a match for Newcastle in the first half and, with the Magpies stepping things up after the break, defended well.

However, it wasn't to be, as Jonjo Shelvey curled in a sumptuous strike from the edge of the area with three minutes to play to take the game to penalties.

Nick Townsend saved from Almiron to give Newport the advantage but misses from Taylor and Cooper meant that it was the Premier League side who would progress to the quarter finals.

Flynn, however, was full of praise for Cooper, the defender a recent addition to the set-up at Rodney Parade.

"He’s settled in superbly," he said.

"He’s a great lad.

"I actually tried to get him last season, but it didn’t happen for one reason or another.

"He was spoken highly of by (Swansea manager) Steve Cooper.

"I speak to Steve quite often.

"It was the right time to do it.

"I’m really pleased with the way Brandon has settled in."