JOSS Labadie doesn't intend to calm down in his 30s, but insists he learned to control his aggression at the heart of Newport County AFC's midfield.

The captain is in his fifth season at Rodney Parade and has racked up 113 appearances with his all-action style.

"When he is on it, he's an important player for us with his physical attributes and his knowhow," said manager Michael Flynn.

"He is somebody who is... I'm going to say maturing. He plays to win, whether in training or in a game.

"He doesn't know any other way, and sometimes that can be a fault of his. He needs to calm down and think about the bigger picture."

Labadie takes pride in setting the tone but his desire often leads to his name being taken by the referee.

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He has been booked three times in seven appearances this season, taking his yellow tally to 43 to go along with a pair of reds.

But the midfielder, who left his 20s in August, believes he has learnt to tread the line.

"I don't think that I'll ever calm down! It's just part of my game but I'm a lot more tactical with it now whereas before I was screaming, shouting and would be a bit more rash," said Labadie.

"I've definitely learned to control my aggression and be a bit smarter with it. It's a big part of my game and if you take that aggression and tenaciousness away then I don't think I'm the same player.

"It's something that I've had to adapt and deal with."

Labadie has played in seven of 11 games this season but had to be content with coming off the bench in the win against Barrow and was an unused sub in the Carabao Cup success against Cambridge.

He is set to be in the XI for this afternoon's home League Two encounter with Tranmere Rovers, one of his former clubs, but knows the pressure is on.

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"Look around the dressing room and you've got everything," said Labadie, who scored a cracker in the cup upset of Watford. "You've got quality players in their prime in that 25 to 30 bracket, you've got experience and you've got youth coming through.

"Nobody's position is safe and if you are not having a good game or out of form then you will be out of the team. You have to be on your toes.

"I was left out for a couple of games and you've got 'Podge' (Padraig Amond), who's not started (regularly) this season despite being our top scorer for the last three years.

"It goes to show that the gaffer is not scared to make those decisions. If you are not doing it, he's not afraid to make the changes and that's got to be positive for the club."

It's that competition that has fired the fine start to the season that sees the Exiles sitting third in the table, with Labadie confident of challenging for a spot in League One.

"The gaffer has assembled a really good squad once again; every year he seems to assemble a better one," said the skipper.

"We've had a few obstacles chucked in but we have dealt with them and have started off the season really well. Hopefully we can continue this and really make a push for it."

They did that in 2018/19 when edged out by today's opponents at Wembley.

"It was a hard one, because I don't think that anybody expected us to get to the play-off final that year," said Labadie.

"Then last season wasn't what everyone expected - and we expected to do a little bit better ourselves.

"This year there is no reason why we can't compete at the right end of the league and make a real push for it."