A GOOD Friday fixture presents Newport County AFC with a dilemma as they monitor Matt Baker's workload on his return from international duty.

The Exiles travel to Colchester United in League Two (kick-off 3pm) and playing on Friday rather than Saturday means a potential quick turnaround for Baker.

The central defender flew back from Turkey on Wednesday after playing for Wales Under-21s in a friendly against Morocco Under-23s on Tuesday night.

That came after the 21-year-old Stoke City prospect had played the full 90 minutes last Friday as the Welsh youngsters beat Lithuania 2-1 at Rodney Parade in a qualifier for the European Championships.

County are without injured defenders Ryan Delaney, James Clarke and Josh Seberry while Declan Drysdale remains on the comeback trail and is being carefully managed.

That leaves them low on numbers and last weekend Harrison Bright made his first League Two start alongside captain Scot Bennett and Kyle Jameson in the 1-0 defeat at Barrow.

County will consider whether Baker is ready to be in the matchday squad for Colchester, with another game coming up on Monday against Crawley in Newport.

South Wales Argus: Newport County loanee Matt Baker in action for Wales Under-21sNewport County loanee Matt Baker in action for Wales Under-21s (Image: PA)

"We haven't seen him this week," said assistant manager Joe Dunne. "He played at Rodney Parade on Friday, flew out and played three quarters of the game.

“He will have a fixture pile-up, we will see how he is and assess whether it's something that has come too quickly because it's a Friday rather than a Saturday.”

County will also decide whether goalkeeper Nick Townsend is fit to start after he was replaced by Jonny Maxted at half-time in Cumbria because of a groin strain.

“We have managed Nick this week and expect him on the grass today,” said Dunne ahead of Thursday’s training session and travel to Essex.

“He's another player that will assess but Jonny went in and did very well, so we have competition.”