NEWPORT County AFC captain Joss Labadie will be fit to lead the charge against Forest Green Rovers in the play-offs tomorrow.

The midfielder suffered a gruesome injury, with a stud cutting him near his left knee, in the 1-1 draw against Southend United that clinched a place in the top seven.

County were sweating on his availability for the semi-finals with manager Michael Flynn saying it depended on how deep the wound was after the medics were unable to stop the bleeding and had to take him to hospital.

However, Labadie had eight stitches and has been given the all-clear to start against Rovers in the first leg at Rodney Parade (kick-ff 8.15pm).

"He's only had a little scratch, come on! He's made out that his leg was half sawn-off! He's a tough cookie and it's pleasing that we have been able to get him fit,” said assistant coach Wayne Hatswell.

South Wales Argus:

The presence of their talisman, who has scored winners against Walsall and Cheltenham this year, is a huge boost in the bid for Wembley.

"Joss plays with his heart on his sleeve and is a big influence for us with the way that we press. He is one of the best in the league at doing it at the top end of the pitch,” said Hatswell.

"He has a presence about him that can put a bit of fear into the opposition. He is one of our stalwarts and wants to win badly.

"When you add that to the other parts of his game that he has done really well with this year, the goals and penetrating runs, he has added more to that spiciness that he had."

South Wales Argus:

Labadie has responded strongly to the disappointment of being dismissed for lashing out in the early stages at Oldham.

Not only did that cost the Exiles badly in defeat at Boundary Park but the skipper was missed in losses to Harrogate and Southend.

"Joss was disappointed with himself and he let the lads down, which he hadn't done for a long time,” said Hatswell.

"He is captain and that is a big responsibility, sometimes when you have a knock like that you have a chance to reflect. "He did that, knuckled down and proved to people that he is not a petulant person that might cost us.

"Joss does things so well for us, he is a big influence and there is a fine balance to what he does. As he is maturing, he is getting a better understanding of that.

“He plays on the borderline but because he had that knock, he has come back a lot better for it.”

County have everybody fit apart from defender Ash Baker, who has been a fringe figure in 2020/21.