MICHAEL Flynn has vowed Newport County AFC will be in the mix for promotion despite critics writing his struggling side off.

The Exiles suffered a shock home lost to Southend United on Tuesday night, a result that lifted the Shrimpers off the bottom of League Two.

County had ended their winless streak against Grimsby Town on Saturday but hopes of that sparking a revival in their promotion challenge were dashed by Tom Clifford’s free-kick after 74 minutes.

READ MORE: The talking points from County's defeat

Flynn’s side would have climbed to second with victory but instead stay fifth having taken just seven points from their last 10 fixtures.

“It’s really frustrating because the boys had a chance to go second in the table and didn’t take it,” said the manager. “It’s a missed opportunity and a bad result, let’s not dress it up.

“I am sure many people will be writing us off. Fine, they can crack on. We’ll make sure we are there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

South Wales Argus:

“I’d much rather everyone was saying about how good we are and that we had taken the three points by doing the right things but it was a sloppy goal and a frustrating night.

“The run concerns me but just as I wasn’t getting carried away when we were top of the league I am not getting too despondent now.”

County failed the create openings of note until they went behind and then Josh Sheehan, Ryan Taylor and Nicky Maynard missed glorious chances.

After grinding their way to victory against Grimsby when down to 10 men, Flynn was annoyed at such a poor display on bare, freezing Rodney Parade pitch.

“It was a poor game, neither side created much at all and it was a poor goal to give away then we missed three sitters,” he said.

“It wasn’t anywhere near what I expect or want from them. We weren’t very good but probably still should have won that game.

South Wales Argus:

“It’s hard to create things on that pitch. It’s the same for both teams, I know that, but we lost too many balls in midfield and we’ve got to take our chances when they come because they will be few and far between.

“We still should have won that match. We lost and some supporters will be saying we are useless, but we still should have won that game.

“We didn’t, we’ve missed a massive opportunity to go second in the league, it wasn’t a very good performance but we still should have won that game.

“We now need to turn up at Port Vale and start playing how we know we can play, and how we have shown we can play.”

County head to Vale Park on Saturday then host promotion rivals Exeter and Forest Green.