RYAN Taylor is one of the few Newport County AFC players that will be happy to be among the substitutes when Michael Flynn hands in his teamsheet to face Premier League Brighton on Sunday evening.

The forward has not featured since feeling his hamstring go against Mansfield in October, an injury that ended his promising start to life as an Exile.

The 32-year-old was fit for the League Two games against Exeter and Southend last week only for torrential rain and frost to add more days to his absence.

But Taylor has a shot to join Padraig Amond, Jamille Matt and Shawn McCoulsky as County cup heroes, even if it's a cameo rather than a starting role.

"It'd be nice to come off the bench and steal the show," said the Yorkshireman. "I'm very positive to be back – it's been a hard 14 weeks.

"We had games postponed and I was fit for both of them, so it has been frustrating because I would have liked to blow away the cobwebs.

"It's time for me to start pushing on now and get back in the team at some point. I'm not daft enough to think that I am going to walk straight in but it's up to me to show the gaffer in training what I can do."

Manager Flynn was pleased with what he saw from Taylor at the start of the season; he scored against Scunthorpe and Barrow but also impressed with his link-up play.

The striker helped County turn summer aims of survival to January dreams of promotion.

"As a team we are doing well, so it was disappointing to have to sit and watch it," he admitted. "On a positive note, it was nice to enjoy those performances that the boys were putting in.

"It would have been a lot harder to take if I was in the stand and the lads were struggling, because you can't do anything about it."

Unless Flynn springs a surprise by flinging Taylor in from the off, he will hope to make his return as a sub in County's bid to claim another scalp against Brighton.

"To pit your wits against a Premier League club is massive. If you can't get up for this game then you can't get up for any game," said Taylor.

"I don't think they will like coming to this ground, the pitch is a bit iffy and it's up to us to make it a dogfight.

"I am sure the boys will be getting in their faces from the first whistle. Everybody is ready and raring to go, especially after the two postponed games.

"People are chomping at the bit - Sunday needs to come quickly!"

While most grumble about the deterioration of the Rodney Parade pitch as the hectic fixture list takes its toll, Taylor senses an opportunity.

He may have proved adept when the ball was on the deck at the start of the season but the bobbly surface provides a chance to get stuck into centre-backs.

"I'm a bit more hustle and bustle. A bit more aggressive," said Taylor, who came through the ranks at Rotherham before playing for Burton, Exeter, Bristol City, Portsmouth, Oxford and Plymouth.

"There is a nice mixture in there with the attacking players, so hopefully we can all complement each other.

"The pitch getting worse not the worst thing in the world for me, I'm going to be honest! If the balls start going slightly longer then I enjoy that side of the game.

"I like the ball into my feet and getting technical but I don't mind the aggressive side of it as well."