SEB Palmer-Houlden is back with a pledge to work hard for Newport County AFC, but maybe not too hard.

The 19-year-old Bristol City striker will be a key figure for the Exiles as they deny leaders Stockport a record 13th straight League Two win at Rodney Parade tomorrow afternoon.

Palmer-Houlden could be a starter but it’s more likely that the teenager will once again be given the role of impact sub as he works back to full fitness.

Life in Newport started impressively for the Robins prospect, who scored a first professional goal in the Carabao Cup upset of League One Charlton and a first EFL strike versus Doncaster.

Palmer-Houlden formed a strong partnership with Will Evans but then disaster struck on appearance number seven in the cup against Brentford.

The striker went straight into a sprint after being called off the bench against the Premier League side and promptly suffered a 19-centimetre split down a hamstring.

South Wales Argus: GOAL: Seb Palmer-Houlden scored for the first time as a pro against Charlton for Newport CountyGOAL: Seb Palmer-Houlden scored for the first time as a pro against Charlton for Newport County (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“Sometimes I think I work too hard in that respect,” admitted Palmer-Houlden. “I wanted to make a good impression when coming on but I need to ease into the game.

“It was a learning experience for me, and now I know not to fully go into a sprint when coming on!

“I overworked the tendon and maybe I had run a bit too much in training the day before or did too much in the gym.

“I didn’t need an operation because I tore it downwards and it split, if it had been across then the whole hamstring would have been taken off the bone, which would have been a lot worse.”

Palmer-Houlden returned to Bristol City for rehabilitation in their state-of-the-art training facility but ensured he came to every County home game to stay integrated with the squad.

The Robins’ medical team have come up trumps and the striker returned ahead of schedule in the EFL Trophy game against City’s rivals Rovers, then came off the bench again at Mansfield last week.

Last season’s top scorer Omar Bogle, who missed the start of the season with quad and hamstring injuries, and this season’s leading marksman Evans have joined forces in Palmer-Houlden’s absence.

Now the youngster is keen to pick up where he left off in August, whether as a starter or finisher.

South Wales Argus: Seb Palmer-Houlden on the attack for County at Forest GreenSeb Palmer-Houlden on the attack for County at Forest Green (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“It was an amazing first month and getting my first league goal and another in the Carabao Cup was amazing,” said Palmer-Houlden.

“Now I just need to get back into the rhythm of playing, get my match fitness back up and help the team.

“All three of us can play together but we can also play as different partnerships as well. That's good and gives the gaffer options depending on how he wants to play against different opponents.

“We are three players with different attributes – I like to work hard, play with intensity, press and get in behind.”

The teenager will play to his strengths but is also taking the opportunity to develop his game with the help of Bogle, a seasoned campaigner who took Charlie McNeill and Calum Kavanagh under his wing last season.

“He's a great role model and shows me how to do things with parts of my game that I can do better,” said Palmer-Houlden.

“Sometimes he tells me that I am running too much! If I just stand still then I can be in a better place. Omar has been really helpful and given advice that I can move forward with.”

Perhaps those top tips can lead to the Exiles stunning the pace-setting Hatters.

“It’s a massive game and anything can happen,” said Palmer-Houlden. “They are on a 12-game winning streak but we have the quality in the team to get a result.”

League Two fixtures: AFC Wimbledon v Notts County, Bradford v Accrington, Colchester v Barrow, Crawley v Harrogate, Crewe v Doncaster, Grimsby v Sutton, Newport v Stockport, Salford v MK Dons, Swindon v Mansfield, Tranmere v Gillingham, Walsall v Forest Green, Wrexham v Morecambe.