MICKEY Demetriou reckons an international break has come at just the right time for Newport County AFC as they gear up for a return to Rodney Parade and the 10 “cup finals” ahead of them.

The Exiles would have faced a trip to Scunthorpe United in League Two tomorrow had a handful of players not been unavailable after receiving call-ups from their countries.

While County fans will have one eye on the fortunes of Josh Sheehan, Tom King, Luke Gambin, Lewis Collins and Lewys Twamley this weekend, the other is going to be monitoring the league table.

County sit seventh – the final play-off place – and won’t be in action again until Good Friday (April 2) when they travel to Barrow, who are battling to stay in the division.

The Exiles then play their first match back at Rodney Parade, against Bolton Wanderers on Easter Monday, after two home fixtures in Cardiff.

“It’s nice to be playing, but we’ve had a lot of games recently, so it’s also good to have a bit of a rest, mentally more than physically,” said defender Demetriou.

“We’ve got 10 games in five weeks coming up and they are going to be like 10 cup finals, so having a little rest now, especially after losing two on the bounce, is good for us.

“We’ve just got to get as many points as we can from the last 10 games and see where it leaves us. We don’t want to let the season fizzle out because we’ve put ourselves in a position to challenge for promotion.

“Five of our last 10 are against teams around us and I think everyone is going to be taking points off each other.”

He added: “Automatic promotion is still possible. We’re only five points off it and still have two of the teams above us to play.

“There will be a few more twists and turns because so many of the top seven teams have got to play each other.”

County’s short stint at Cardiff City Stadium yielded mixed results, with a 2-1 defeat of Bradford City followed by last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Leyton Orient.

And it is that sort of inconsistency which has been a source of frustration for 31-year-old Demetriou.

“We went from winning three on the bounce to losing two in a row, so it was disappointing not to keep that run going,” he added.

“Even if we’d taken a couple of points from the last two it would have kept the run going, but we didn’t and we’ve got to move on.

“We were excellent against Bradford but just couldn’t find the same form against Port Vale and Leyton Orient. We didn’t take advantage of the chances we created and both those sides took the only chances they did, and that’s what hurt us.”

On returning to Rodney Parade, he said: “The facilities in Cardiff were great and it was a nice pitch to play on.

“It was nice to get away from our pitch for a bit, but it will also be nice to get back home and hopefully return to winning ways.”