NEWPORT County AFC will be boosted by the return of influential midfielder Ollie Cooper to the bench for their must-win League Two clash with Colchester at Rodney Parade tomorrow (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Exiles have lost their last three games on home soil but need three points to stay alive in the battle for the play-offs.

County have endured a poor run of form with just four points from their last six games, with Cooper sidelined for the last five of those fixtures.

The Swansea loanee has missed out because of a groin issue but is back for the clash with 19th-placed Colchester, who need a point to mathematically be safe from the drop.

Cooper’s load has been managed in training and he will be fit enough to make a cameo if needed in Newport.

South Wales Argus: BACK: Ollie CooperBACK: Ollie Cooper

"Ollie Cooper is available and will be on the bench with his game time very limited," said manager James Rowberry.

"You always want your best players available and Ollie has been terrific since I have been here.

"The three lads who I class as number 10s - Finn Azaz, James Waite and Ollie - have been terrific for us."

Cooper leads the County for assists with nine but he also is a key figure in the high press, setting the pace for tackles per game.

The Exiles will climb back into the top seven with victory but could be out of the running by the time they next take to the field at Port Vale on Monday, May 2.