NEWPORT County AFC boss Michael Flynn wishes they were playing Crawley Town in January – to potentially avoid an encounter with the “best striker in the league”.

The League Two leaders travel to Sussex this afternoon when they bid to bounce back after defeats to Leyton Orient and Oldham either side of a draw at Salford.

Manager Flynn criticised the Exiles’ defensive decision-making in the 4-2 home loss to Oldham and they will be on red alert this afternoon.

Crawley’s Max Watters has been linked with a number of teams – including Swansea City – after a superb first half of the campaign featuring 16 goals in 17 games (13 in 14 in League Two).

“Crawley re a very, very tough team to play against with some really good players and they are on a bit of a high,” said Flynn about their hosts, who beat Leyton Orient 2-1 last time out.

“They have the best striker in the league at the moment who is attracting a lot of attention from other clubs.

“It's a pity that we didn’t play them a couple of days later and he was gone! They have a striker with 16 goals, which is a phenomenal amount in the games that he has played.

“We know that it's going to be a very tough game.”