THE sight of new signing Luke Jephcott walking around the Rodney Parade pitch before the FA Cup tie with Manchester United was further proof that Newport County AFC don’t need a busy deadline day.

The striker, who became the Exiles’ first January signing last Thursday, strolled along the touchline with young defender Harrison Bright and the injured Josh Seberry after not getting EFL approval in time to be considered for the Red Devils fixture.

Graham Coughlan was still able to name a 20-strong squad of seniors for the 4-2 defeat, with Bright missing out after being on the bench against Eastleigh.

I shouldn’t be saying this as someone who will be doing a live blog from morning until shortly after 11pm, but County don’t need to get involved in the deadline day nonsense.

There were times in the autumn when Coughlan was unable to fill his bench and had only one or two genuine options as substitutes.

Now the manager has Adam Lewis, Kyle Jameson, Harry Charsley and Offrande Zanzala back in his matchday squad and Declan Drysdale is on the comeback trail.

South Wales Argus: DECISIONS: County boss Graham Coughlan has got through an injury crisisDECISIONS: County boss Graham Coughlan has got through an injury crisis (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Swindon are in town on Saturday and Coughlan will have to whittle his 20-man squad down to 18, with Seberry and striker Omar Bogle the only long-term absentees.

That contrasts starkly to the goalless draw with MK Dons on November 11 when goalkeeper Jonny Maxted and midfielder James Waite were on the bench with academy teens Nelson Sanca and Alfie Young plus raw Bristol City prospect Olly Thomas.

County are not desperate for numbers and nor are they desperate for a change of fortune.

They sit 16th in the table and are well clear of the relegation scrap, let alone the relegation zone. They were on a seven-game unbeaten streak before being edged out by Premier League United.

The Exiles are in a position of strength when it comes to recruitment – they don’t need to take punts like those looking nervously down at Sutton and Forest Green.

Leave others to splash silly money. Value is key, as is building for next season.

South Wales Argus: SIGNING: Harry Charsley joined County from Port Vale last JanuarySIGNING: Harry Charsley joined County from Port Vale last January (Image: Press Association)

Last January they brought in Charsley in mid-January before deadline day loan moves for Matt Baker, Charlie McNeill and Calum Kavanagh.

Charsley and Jephcott are the type of recruits that make sense in this window, bringing in a permanent asset rather than developing talent for others.

Loan signings are wise when short in an area, but that’s not the case for County at present.

Why bring in another McNeill/Kavanagh at the expense of Kiban Rai getting more minutes and valuable experience?

Coughlan is a shrewd operator who is getting the maximum out of the players on his roster; he places a high value on recruits buying into the Newport way and due diligence includes character as well as talent.

If they aren’t the right fit, they aren’t coming in and the boss can’t be wasteful given that there are so many areas of the club that need attention.

Huw Jenkins’ takeover has helped with the finances of the club, as has the FA Cup run, but every penny still counts.

County must be ready to act if anything comes up on deadline day – ins or outs – but the summer is the time to get busy.

There is a feelgood factor at the club courtesy of the League Two form, Jenkins’ takeover and the Wrexham and Manchester United games.

That presents an opportunity to build over the coming months, retain the talent (unlike last summer) and then move in the transfer market at the end of the campaign.

This current crop did a professional job against Wrexham when it would have been easy to be distracted, then did themselves proud against United.

They deserve the chance to push for a top-half finish or even to give the play-off hopefuls something to think about.