BOSS Michael Flynn is weighing up whether to field Nicky Maynard from the off on his Newport County AFC debut tomorrow after the veteran striker’s impressive start to life as an Exile.

The 34-year-old is on loan from Mansfield until the end of the season, a move that the County manager had been working on throughout January but only sealed close to the deadline.

Maynard is a proven goalscorer, netting 22 times when helping Bury to promotion in 2019 and scoring 15 for the Stags last season.

He is another forward option to go along with Padraig Amond, Ryan Taylor and fellow January arrivals Dom Telford and Jake Scrimshaw.

However, Maynard hasn’t started a game since November 24 because of injury and County will be mindful of a hectic month that sees them play seven games in 20 days, starting with Grimsby this afternoon.

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“Getting Nicky in was something that I had been working on all month. I was delighted to get the deal over the line,” said Flynn.

“We have already seen the quality of his movement and his finishing in training. Whether he is involved against Grimsby just depends on whether we think that he is up to speed.”

Flynn made eight additions to his squad in the window, bringing in Maynard, Telford and Scrimshaw up front, Anthony Hartigan, Luke Gambin and Jack Evans in midfield and defenders Aaron Lewis and Priestley Farquharson.

The Exiles were close to bringing in another young loanee only to be scuppered by the parent club failing to complete the deal.

“I'm happy to a point. I did miss out on two who I really would have liked to have brought in,” said Flynn.

“One was a player who we know - I tried to get him back but couldn't - and with the other the paperwork just didn't get filed at the other end at the last minute.”

Flynn declined to reveal the former Exile, although he did say it wasn’t influential loanee Scott Twine.

“It's by far the most frustrating transfer window that I have been involved in and a lot of managers that I spoke to felt the same.

“It was non-stop. At 11.02pm on Monday I switched off and at 11.05pm I was fast asleep.”

County also allowed midfielder Robbie Willmott and forward Tristan Abrahams to leave for League Two rivals Exeter and Leyton Orient respectively.

On Tuesday they signed free agent Lewis after his release by Lincoln City.

The Wales Under-21 international spent three months at Rodney Parade only to be hindered by the rule allowing just five loan players in a matchday squad, plus the form of Liam Shephard and Ryan Haynes.

Flynn expects Lewis to have a bigger impact on the run-in, with his versatility helping his cause.

South Wales Argus: RETURN: Aaron Lewis, pictured with David Longe-King, is back in NewportRETURN: Aaron Lewis, pictured with David Longe-King, is back in Newport

“Robbie used to fill in a lot of positions and Aaron is more than capable of doing that,” said the manager.

“It was a no-brainer on the cost side and he was very unfortunate when he was here at the beginning of the season.

“With the form that the team was in it was hard to get in and change things too much. He has come in and looked really fresh - he trained really well on Wednesday and will be knocking on the door soon.”

Abrahams was the Exiles’ top scorer with eight but hadn’t scored in open play since September and hadn’t started since Boxing Day.

The 22-year-old Londoner has returned to Orient for a third spell at Brisbane Road with Flynn’s best wishes.

“He has had a few problems that he has had to deal with off the pitch,” said the manager. “They were no doing of his own just unfortunate circumstances.

“Let's not forget that he is a young man who was living on his own here, away from his family in lockdown.

“It can be tough and as much as he brought different things to the team, I've got to make sure the player's welfare is in a good place.

“I wanted to make sure that he was okay mentally because he is a lad that I've got a lot of time for.”