MIDFIELDER James Waite insists he is up for the fight at Newport County AFC despite finding himself on the fringes.

The 24-year-old from Sebastapol will want to break a three-game spell without minutes at Tranmere Rovers in League Two this afternoon.

Waite has been an unused substitute in the Exiles' wins against Stockport and Morecambe and FA Cup draw with Barnet.

That came after he played the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 defeat at Mansfield and midfield competition has ramped up after the returns from injury of Harry Charsley and Aaron Wildig.

Waite hasn’t racked up the minutes he would like – he has played in 21 of 27 games in all competitions with 11 of those as a starter – but will keep plugging away.

South Wales Argus: James Waite bursts forward for Newport County against West Ham U21sJames Waite bursts forward for Newport County against West Ham U21s (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“You are naturally frustrated when not playing, it wouldn’t be right if you weren't,” said Waite, who joined from Cymru Premier Penybont in January 2022.

“I've just got to keep working hard and control what I can, which is on the training pitch. It’s tough but nothing I haven’t experienced in football before.

“That's how it works when players are performing on the pitch and you are winning games. The boys are doing well and hopefully when the chance comes I will make the most of it and keep my place in the team.”

Waite is still a regular for Graham Coughlan and is ninth on the appearances chart for the current campaign.

The chances are that every fit player will have their moments in a hectic schedule that features seven games in the next 24 days.

County travelled to the north west of England yesterday ahead of the Tranmere clash, take on Barnet in an FA Cup replay in north London on Tuesday then return to home soil to face Grimsby a week on Saturday.

They then have fixtures in the festive period against Wrexham (away), Forest Green (home), Crewe (home) and Sutton (away).

“December will be a busy month for us, and an important one,” said Waite. “It’s what you have a squad for and I am sure everyone is going to be needed with the amount of games in quick succession. You have got to be ready.”