NEWPORT County AFC captain Matty Dolan is determined to make their League Two play-off rivals feel the heat this weekend, writes Joe Harrington.

The Exiles are outsiders for the top seven after sliding down to 10th place because of a poor run of form.

However, a win against Colchester United at Rodney Parade this evening would see them climb above Tranmere, Mansfield and Salford and put the heat on the rest of the promotion hopefuls.

County finish with a trip to third-placed Port Vale and then host Rochdale, knowing that a maximum haul could exploit any slip-ups.

"We know what we need. We probably do need three out of three but it's not something that worries us," said Dolan.

"We have put good runs together this season and won three and four on the bounce, so we know we are capable of it. We will give everything we can do that.

"We are not giving up on it. We had a good chat after the game at Sutton and know what we need to do."

County would love to be being chased rather than chasing but Dolan, who won promotion to the Championship with Yeovil in 2013 and was a member of the Exiles sides that suffered Wembley heartache in 2019 and 2021, knows that funny results can happen in the run-in.

South Wales Argus: County skipper Matty DolanCounty skipper Matty Dolan

"It can sometimes work in your favour, if we can put that pressure on then we're into the ascendancy going towards those last two games," said the defender/midfielder.

"We've got to use it to our advantage, ultimately we want to be in the play-offs, that is the target.

"If you'd asked us six or seven weeks ago, we wanted to be in that top three, but football adjusts. We've got to make the best out the situation now, which is to win the next three games."

Dolan was a key member of last season's promotion push and was named as player of the year for his exploits at the heart of the defence.

The 29-year-old has been in and out of the side in a frustrating 2021/22 but returned to the XI to add snap to midfield in the 1-0 defeat at Sutton on Monday, earning the praise of manager James Rowberry for his display.

"I was chuffed," he said. "I have been pretty consistent over my 200-odd games here, I know what I am capable of.

"It's nice to get an accolade from the manager afterwards but ultimately it doesn't matter how I perform, I wouldn't mind kicking the ball out of play 50 times if we won 1-0. We are a winning dressing room and want to win the next three."