NEWPORT County AFC boss Michael Flynn says Luke Gambin hasn’t taken kindly to being left out of the side – and he’s thrilled by that reaction.

The Exiles have lacked creative spark in recent months yet attacking midfielder Gambin has not been given a run in the side.

The 28-year-old arrived on loan from Colchester in January and made a hugely impressive debut at Oldham when he set up one goal and scored a cracker.

The following week he grabbed another assist when his shot on target deflected in off Jake Scrimshaw at Harrogate.

However, the diminutive midfielder hasn’t started since the mid-February draw against Exeter and hasn’t even made the matchday squad for the last two games.

Gambin was left out against Barrow after the exertions of international duty with Malta – he played against Russia and Croatia plus scored a terrific goal in the draw against Slovakia – and failed to break into the 18 for the 1-0 win against Bolton.

South Wales Argus:

When asked for his thinking for that on Monday, manager Flynn replied: “The thinking was that I picked the squad that I thought could win us the game.

“It’s down to the individuals to get in there. I have been straight with Luke, he is not going to like what I am saying because no player likes being left out.

“But he has taken it in the right way and is working hard every day to get in the squad. It’s the same with Jack Evans.

“With Luke, the amount of travelling [with Malta, then a long trip to Barrow] was the reason, against Bolton we had to balance it out with the players coming and have cover for different positions.”

Gambin will push to make his return in Friday’s trip to Mansfield where Flynn will be forced into at least one change.

South Wales Argus:

Striker Nicky Maynard, who scored the winner against Bolton, cannot play against his parent club with Padraig Amond, Jake Scrimshaw and Dom Telford the leading options to come in.

“It’s a chance for somebody else to come in and do something,” said Flynn.

Central defender Priestley Farquharson limped off against Bolton after rolling his ankle so will be a doubt but Mickey Demetriou is back from suspension and is likely to come straight back into the XI.

Flynn’s subs against Bolton – Lewis Collins, Joe Ledley, Kevin Ellison – gave the boss food for though with strong displays but sweeping changes are unlikely at Field Mill despite the hectic schedule in the run-in.

The trip to the East Midlands is followed by games against promotion rivals Carlisle and Cambridge at Rodney Parade next week.