NEWPORT County AFC boss James Rowberry aims to take their promotion bid to the last day of the season – and insists he’s happy to even be in the mix for the play-offs.

The Exiles have suffered a dip in form at the worst possible time to slip out of the top seven ahead of a crucial clash with Sutton on Monday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

County, who suffered controversial Wembley woe in two of the previous three seasons, have dropped to eighth in the League Two table after taking just four points from the last 15.

Last Friday they suffered a costly 2-1 loss to Crawley at Rodney Parade – their third defeat on the spin in Newport – and they have little margin for error in the run-in.

On Monday they travel to seventh-placed Sutton, who have a one-point lead plus a game in hand.

“We are eighth with four games to go,” said Rowberry, whose side then host Colchester and Rochdale either side of a trip to third-placed Port Vale.

“I said to the lads in the changing room after Sutton that if you had said to me on October 20 (his first day in charge), when we were 13th, that we would be in with a chance of the play-offs then I would have taken that all day long.”

In the league table since Rowberry took the reins, County are seventh with 49 points from his 29 games in charge.

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“If we take it to Rochdale then we have done remarkably well,” he continued. “I am fully confident in my group and what we need to do now is focus on getting things right for Sutton.

“We’ve got to go there and get a positive result and I have every faith in them that they will bounce back and do that.

“I was calm afterwards because I wanted a reaction after the first half and we got that.

“We just have to be better in key moments in games, better crossing opportunities, better shots and being better around the edge of the box, but we have done that really, really well all season.

“I know it’s there but it’s just waiting for it to come back in place again, which is hopefully sooner rather than later.”

County realistically need at least three wins from four and a defeat at Gander Green Lane would put them on the brink of missing out on the play-offs.

“I don’t know [if we can afford many slips],” said Rowberry. “We want to win every game and ultimately we’ve got to go to Sutton and get a positive result, let’s not beat around the bush.

“However, we need to focus on what we need to do well to get to that point.”