GRAHAM Coughlan is confident that Newport County AFC have the right mix of strikers to finish the season strongly.

The Exiles have climbed into the League Two play-off picture thanks to a six-game unbeaten streak, with their strike partnership doing damage.

Will Evans has caused a stir by scoring 20 times so far this season and his impressive work rate is matched by physical Bristol City loanee Seb Palmer-Houlden, the match-winner against Doncaster, Wrexham and Swindon.

They will be kept on their toes in the run-in with Coughlan soon to have four other options pushing for starts or adding energy off the bench.

The Exiles signed Luke Jephcott in the January transfer window with the manager describing the former Wales Under-21s international as a “fox in the box”.

The 24-year-old made his debut off the bench against Swindon last weekend as he works towards full fitness after being a fringe figure at St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.

South Wales Argus: RETURN: Offrande Zanzala came off the bench for County against SwindonRETURN: Offrande Zanzala came off the bench for County against Swindon (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Offrande Zanzala has endured a torrid time with injury in Newport and is on the comeback trail from ruptured knee ligaments suffered last February.

He made his first appearance in a year against the Robins and, like Jephcott, was rusty but at his best the striker is explosive and direct.

Kiban Rai has been largely limited to cameos and missed out on the matchday squad last weekend but the teenage academy graduate provides pace, energy and endeavour.

Last season’s top scorer Omar Bogle, currently sidelined by injury, is a seasoned campaigner and an all-rounder – he provides a focal point but is also a goal threat.

In the coming weeks it should provide Coughlan with the opportunity to rotate and pose different problems for opponents, with the starters tasked with upping the conversion rate.

“We’ve got variety,” said manager Coughlan. “We have missed a lot of chances from the start of the season.

“From the opening game at Accrington, we had a lovely set piece that fell in the six-yard box and we (through Palmer-Houlden) managed to blaze over the bar.

South Wales Argus: Newport County boss Graham Coughlan with top scorer Will EvansNewport County boss Graham Coughlan with top scorer Will Evans (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“From then on, we have missed a lot of chances. We create chances and have missed a lot, so it was key to bring in a proven goal scorer in January.

“We have four or five different types of striker now, which is great. Hopefully over the next month or so we have choices to make, because picking a team has not been giving me massive headaches because of injuries.”

Coughlan is keen to arrange ‘bounce’ games behind closed doors to help Jephcott, Zanzala and central defender Kyle Jameson build towards being starting contenders.

Left-footer Jameson has been an unused substitute three times in recent weeks after suffering a hip injury in August.

His fellow defender Declan Drysdale and striker Bogle were also doing fitness work on the Parade pitch before the Swindon game as they work towards fitness.