NEWPORT County AFC manager James Rowberry has declared that his reign is still on target despite the club falling out of the play-off picture.

The Exiles are 11th in League Two and will be mathematically out of the running for the top seven on Tuesday night if Mansfield avoid defeat at home to Stevenage at Field Mill and Sutton beat Crawley at Gander Green Lane.

Even if those results go County's way, the killer blow is likely to take place before they take on fourth-placed Port Vale on Monday, May 2 (kick-off 3pm).

On Friday night they failed to put the pressure on their rivals when beaten 2-1 by Colchester United in Newport.

They have now suffered four home defeats on the bounce and after going third in the table with victory at Carlisle have taken four points from seven games.

"In the cold light of day that's not great but I have got to look at it as a transitional period, where we are at and what we are trying to achieve," said Rowberry, who took over in mid-October.

"I believe that we are on target for that. I am learning a lot about individuals and characters and what we need to try and achieve to move forward.

"Thoughts turn to next season and what we need to recruit, build, develop and enhance. I reflect on myself and I hope the players reflect on themselves, which I am sure they will."

Rowberry took the reigns for the first time against Bristol Rovers on October 23 when County were 13th in the table.

They have totted up 49 points from 31 games with the current run of form costing them a shot at the top three, let alone play-offs.

County were beaten at Wembley in controversial circumstances in 2019 and 2021 with Michael Flynn turning the club from one that battled the drop to being among those hunting League One football.

South Wales Argus:

"I've got to keep moving team and the football club forward in a direction that the chairman and board, and I, want to take it," said Rowberry.

"We are in a period of trying to transition in styles and ways of working. It's my responsibility to keep driving that forward and I know that I will do that."

The battle for promotion promises to be another fierce one in 2022/23 with six clubs plus County looking to be back in contention after a tight tussle this season, while Mark Hughes' Bradford and Flynn's Walsall will aim to be at the top rather than looking down.

Crewe have been relegated from League One with Doncaster and AFC Wimbledon on the brink.

Gillingham are currently in the final relegation spot with Fleetwood and Morecambe having work to do in final week.

Stockport are in pole position to come up as National League champions, which would leave big-spending Wrexham aiming to join them via the play-offs.