MICHAEL Flynn won't settle for a draw when Newport County AFC head to play-off rivals Exeter City in their most important game of the season.

The Exiles are in tight tussle for the top seven and head to St James Park with a three-point lead over their hosts (kick-off 3pm).

However, the Grecians would leapfrog County with a win courtesy of their better goal difference while Salford could also climb above Flynn's side if they beat Mansfield.

It's a pivotal afternoon in the race for the play-offs, but that has been said for a number of weeks with no side able to string together a consistent run.

County boss Michael Flynn

County boss Michael Flynn

"I see it the same as I have all season, they are important games and Exeter, because of the league positions that we are in, is even more important than anything we have had all season," said the manager.

A point would keep County above Exeter, whose boss Matt Taylor has already labelled it must-win for his side.

Asked if that altered his mindset, Flynn replied: "No, I will never go somewhere to play for a draw.

"Usually when that happens you come unstuck, so we are going to win the game.

"A draw would leave you relying on Salford not getting a win, if they do then it would put them right behind us.

"But don't get me wrong - I am not going there and playing six strikers!"

County's fate is in their own hands with games to come against Scunthorpe and second-placed Cheltenham at home before a last-day trip to Southend, who look condemned to the drop.

A core of the Exiles squad have been through a race for the play-offs when they made a late charge for seventh in 2019, going on to beat Mansfield in the semi-finals before a controversial Wembley loss to Tranmere.

County striker Padraig Amond in action against Exeter in February

County striker Padraig Amond in action against Exeter in February

Flynn is looking for Matty Dolan, Mickey Demetriou, Joss Labadie, Josh Sheehan, Scot Bennett and Padraig Amond to help steer the ship, while Ryan Taylor, Dom Telford and Nicky Maynard have all enjoyed successful promotions elsewhere in recent years.

"They need to go above and beyond now, not just concentrating on themselves but helping their teammates out who have never been in this position," said the boss.

"That's what a team is all about, you try and guide younger players, while the younger players will try and do a few extra yards for the older players if needed.

"They have all got to come together, which they have done all season. They have got a good bond in the changing room."

Flynn also believes County are in a battle with four rivals with Leyton Orient, Crawley and Bradford having too much to do.

"I don't want to write any teams off and be disrespectful but look at the table and it's Salford, Carlisle, Exeter that stand out," he said.

"We'd all have to go on really bad runs for somebody else to sneak in. (Sixth-placed) Forest Green are still in there, it's two spaces out of five."