SCOT Bennett believes Newport County AFC need to be gamblers and twist rather than stick if they are to avoid anguish in their push for the League Two play-offs.

The Exiles are seventh in the table, the final play-off spot, but face a huge week against two rivals.

Tonight they welcome Crawley (kick-off 7pm), who are three points back, and on Saturday they travel to Exeter City, just a point back with a superior goal difference.

County dropped a place on Saturday when they were hit by a late Cambridge United sucker punch at Rodney Parade, losing 1-0 despite an encouraging performance.

Michael Flynn's side have lost a cutting edge since the January return of star loanee Scott Twine to Swindon Town and need to be sharper to avoid heartbreak in five games' time.

DEPENDABLE: Countys Scot Bennett returned to midfield against Cambridge

DEPENDABLE: County's Scot Bennett returned to midfield against Cambridge

"We are creating chances but I don't know whether it's just that we aren't gambling enough or we aren't getting enough bodies in the box," said midfielder Bennett.

"If we could get that right then I am sure we would pick up more points, so it's something that we've got to sort out.

"It's still in our hands and we've got five massive games. We've got to start taking the points.

"There's no lack of confidence, we got the ball down and played some nice stuff against Cambridge, creating chances, but we just have to start taking them.

"It's frustrating because we played some excellent football but we have got to start killing teams off.

"We have definitely played a lot worse than we did on Saturday and still come away with something but we've got to go again against Crawley and we've got to get a win."

County host the Reds, travel to Exeter, entertain Scunthorpe and Cheltenham before a last-day trip to relegation-threatened Southend.

Rivals have also faltered but Bennett knows they can't depend on good fortune in the run-in.

INFLUENTIAL: Scot Bennett in action at Crawley on Boxing Day

INFLUENTIAL: Scot Bennett in action at Crawley on Boxing Day

"We are still clinging on in there but we've got to start taking care of our own business and stop relying on others," he said.

"That's why we are so frustrated, there has been a chance to keep climbing but every time we seem to go wrong ourselves. We have to sort that out and start taking care of our own business.

"It's going to be another tough game against Crawley and no game in this league is easy. The last few weeks have all been massive.

"We would have liked a lot more points but now we have two teams around us and we need them now.

"Exeter have a big game against Forest Green so that might mean we can open up a gap if we beat Crawley going into Saturday. It's exciting – it's all in our hands and we have five massive games."

Influential defender Matty Dolan's participation this evening will be down to the medical team after he suffered a concussion against Carlisle last Tuesday.

Bennett has played on the right of a defensive three but moved back to his preferred midfield against Cambridge, albeit when limited to doing a man-marking job on influential playmaker Wes Hoolahan.

The Cornishman has got used to the uncertainty caused by versatility.

"I've had it through my career. A lot of my time at Exeter I was here, there and everywhere," said the 30-year-old.

"I guess it's looked at as a strength but sometimes it can be frustrating because you want to just settle down and play one position.

"I've always said throughout my career that I am happy to play wherever the manager needs me, as long as I am out there."

On shadowing Hoolahan, Bennett said: "I didn't mind it but sometimes he clicked on because he is a clever player and took me into positions that I didn't really want to be in.

"I've done it before against Bury a few times with Danny Mayor, and against Plymouth when he was there.

"It's something that I've done before in my career and it's something that I had to do, as long as I am playing."

Whether in defence or midfield, it will be a different role this evening.