GRAHAM Coughlan believes Newport County AFC have shown they are a ‘different club’ under new ownership after scaring off any late bids for Will Evans.

The Exiles had a quiet transfer deadline day in which the only action was a loan exit by midfielder Nathan Wood to get game time at Cork City.

There were no late moves for top scorer Evans or versatile right-back Shane McLoughlin after they attracted bids in January.

Huw Jenkins completed his takeover last week and the manager believes the arrival of the former Swansea chairman, and therefore financial stability, has made a difference to County.

The new owner has made it clear that player-trading will be key under his watch – but the deal needs to be right.

“We had bids in for two of our players that we turned down,” said Coughlan about the January interest. “We didn't have anything new over the last 24, 48 hours.

“On deadline day I think people knew that the lads weren't going out. We made our stance clear and it would have taken a hell of a lot of money if anybody wanted any of our players.

“Our stance was clear – our players are not for sale. It's a different Newport County now with the ownership.

South Wales Argus: OWNER: County chairman Huw JenkinsOWNER: County chairman Huw Jenkins (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“Huw has backed me in making those decisions to hold on to one or two of our assets and what we aim to do over the next 6, 12, 18 months is create more assets and create a stronger, bigger squad to climb the divisions.”

County were active in January but made just one signing with former Wales Under-21s striker Luke Jephcott arriving on a permanent deal after being frozen out by Scottish Premiership side St Johnstone.

Coughlan has been boosted by the return from injury of several senior players and didn’t want to “gamble” in a traditionally tricky month.

“It's a window when clubs and managers don't have any power,” said the manager. “I always find that January is a desperate window when people are spending over the odds.

“They gather up players and spend money then two months down the line think 'what was I doing there?'.

“I am not a gambler and you need to have your thought process right. I am happy with the squad I have got and more than happy with the acquisition we made in Luke.”

South Wales Argus: UNITED: County's squad is tightUNITED: County's squad is tight (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

County were tipped by many to be involved in a relegation scrap but they are 16th in League Two with a healthy gap to the relegation zone.

Coughlan has set the target of a better finish than last season’s 15th and more points than the 57 they totted up, with the current tally 37.

“The ones that are here, I have trust in and there is still more to come from them,” he said.

“We are alright with what we have got, as I kept saying, and I am not in the business of collecting players.

“I have to protect that changing room because what they have built up is phenomenal. They are a great group of lads with their work rate, attitude and commitment.

“I go on about the DNA of the club and if a player hasn't got that then they are not going to fit in.”