NEWPORT County AFC suffered from Luke Jephcott’s ability to sniff out a chance at Swindon last season. Now they aim to profit from it.

The 24-year-old striker could make his Exiles debut in Saturday’s clash with the Robins at Rodney Parade (kick-off 12.45pm).

Jephcott signed on a permanent deal from St Johnstone last Thursday but didn’t get clearance in time to feature in the FA Cup tie against Manchester United.

Instead, the former Wales Under-21 international could slot into the matchday squad for the League Two encounter with his former side, backing up the strike partnership of Will Evans and Seb Palmer-Houlden.

Jephcott, born in Aberystwyth and briefly raised in Cwmbran before his family settled in Cornwall, came through the ranks at Plymouth and was said to be valued at £5million when banging in the goals for the Pilgrims in 2020/21.

South Wales Argus: SIGNING: County brought in striker Luke Jephcott last weekSIGNING: County brought in striker Luke Jephcott last week (Image: Newport County)

He hasn’t been as prolific in recent times but showed his striking instincts against County when on loan at Swindon last season.

Ronan Darcy’s long-range shot was spilled by Nick Townsend and Jephcott was on hand to score the only goal of the game from close range.

Coughlan believes County have signed a “fox in the box” and the new man aims to help with the team’s conversion rate.

“When I spoke to the gaffer he told that we put in lots of crosses and create lots of chances. As a striker that is what I want to hear,” said Jephcott.

“I think I’ve only scored one professional goal from outside the box [for Swindon last season, inside the D in a one-on-one after a goalkeeping howler], so hopefully I can do well from the chances that come. I’d like to think that I put myself in the right places to score.

“I’ve shown that when I play consistently, I will score goals. It’s on me to put in the performances in training and on match days to get those games.”

Jephcott knows that his immediate future is likely to be as an impact sub after heading to County undercooked.

He headed to Scotland last summer and made 11 appearances for St Johnstone, including a start in the 0-0 draw at Celtic, before being the victim of a change of manager.

South Wales Argus: New County striker Luke Jephcott (right) in action for St Johnstone at CelticNew County striker Luke Jephcott (right) in action for St Johnstone at Celtic (Image: Press Association)Craig Levein arrived in November and called on Jephcott just once as a substitute before telling him he was free to leave.

“Everybody wants to play and I started the season well, but circumstances changed and I found myself out of the team,” he said.

“I’ve come here to play and to start enjoying my football again, and the lads have helped me settle in well. It’s a great changing room and I’m looking forward to what the rest of this season holds.”

Jephcott, who has signed a deal beyond the current campaign, had his first training sessions before the United game and got a taste of the demands.

Further evidence came against the Red Devils when Coughlan’s side worked their socks off to give the Premier League giants a scare.

“The gaffer said that we are a hard-working team in the conversations we had before I signed and the training sessions have been tough,” said Jephcott.

“It will be hard to get into the starting team but I’m looking forward to that – it’s down to me to kick on here.”

League Two fixtures: County v Swindon (12.45), Accrington v Grimsby, Barrow v MK Dons, Bradford v Wimbledon, Colchester v Forest Green, Crawley v Morecambe, Gillingham v Walsall, Mansfield v Notts County, Salford v Wrexham, Stockport v Harrogate, Sutton v Doncaster, Tranmere v Crewe.