NEWPORT County AFC manager Graham Coughlan admits he might have to change a winning team after his side dug deep to stun Stockport.

The Exiles don’t have long to bask in the glory of a 2-1 upset against the Hatters, who were hunting a League Two record 13th successive victory.

They make the long trip to Morecambe, who were thrashed 6-0 by Wrexham, on Tuesday with he aim of backing up the success to extend their seven-point lead over the relegation zone.

However, Coughlan handed first starts to fit-again centre-back James Clarke, his first since September, and striker Seb-Palmer-Houlden, his first since August, against the Hatters.

“Should they have played as long as we left them out there? I will probably get in trouble with the strength and conditioning coach and physio,” said the manager, who left the defender on for the full game and brought off the forward on 70 minutes.

“Clarkey should have been off after 60 to 65 minutes and Seb should have only played 45 to 60, but those are the type of dilemmas that I have.

“I don’t know how they will be for Tuesday, if I have them then brilliant, if I don’t then we will just have to play two other lads.”

South Wales Argus: DELIGHT: Will Evans punches the air after Newport County's win against StockportDELIGHT: Will Evans punches the air after Newport County's win against Stockport (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“We have seen that type of performance on a Saturday, with high energy levels, and then on a Tuesday or the following weekend we might not have the same,” continued the manager.

“It does take its toll and it’s the same group of players; the fresh legs and getting one or two back this week is important.”

Coughlan still hasn’t been able to name a full bench in a League Two game since Notts County on October 24 and his six-strong substitute list against Stockport featured teenage academy prospect Nelson Sanca.

However, he is hopeful of reinforcements soon with midfielder Harry Charsley (ankle) nearing a return while Aaron Wildig (back/hamstring), Kyle Jameson (hip), Declan Drysdale (hamstring), Josh Seberry (broken fibula), Adam Lewis (quad) and Offrande Zanzala (knee) are also currently on the injured list.

They stunned the Hatters with a superb, disciplined display but Coughlan knows the importance of backing it up at Morecambe.

“I’ve said to the lads, you can see why I get frustrated, annoyed and angry because they are capable of that, it’s just getting that consistency and keeping those standards,” he said.

“It’s a great victory but, as I said after beating Gillingham and drawing with MK Dons, we want to be a consistent team, not one that delivers twice a month.

“It’s about building and kicking on, let’s not get carried away and too excited about the victory, let’s string a few together and then I might crack a smile.

“Overall our performance was really good. There are not many teams in the league that can live with Stockport, never mind match them.

“Our tactics were spot-on and the lads carried it out to the letter, and with a bit more quality we could have opened them up because we squandered some opportunities.

“We deserved to win the game and my message is to go and match another team and another team to put a run together.

“If they keep giving us that work rate, attitude and commitment, which they have all season, then we will win more games than we lose.”