NEWPORT County AFC owner Huw Jenkins has backed Graham Coughlan, saying he ‘can’t fault’ the job done by the manager despite a seven-game losing streak.

The Exiles are enduring a nightmare run-in to the League Two campaign after Salford joined Barrow, Colchester, Crawley, Grimsby, Accrington and Tranmere in taking the spoils.

It will be a surprise if the streak doesn’t hit eight in the season finale at Bradford City on Saturday as County limp to the finish line.

Coughlan has cut a frustrated figure and has promised big changes this summer while some have speculated that Jenkins, whose takeover was completed in January, would like his own man at the helm.

However, the manager has a year to run on his contract and the chairman has repeated his praise for the job done by the staff in a challenging season, which started with financial uncertainty and featured two major injury crises.

South Wales Argus: FRUSTRATED: County manager Graham CoughlanFRUSTRATED: County manager Graham Coughlan (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“I’ve said previously, what Graham had to deal with from the start of the season and the way that they have dealt with it as a management group has been excellent,” said the former Swansea City chairman to BBC Sport Wales before the Salford defeat.

“Hopefully I can provide him with my experience to help the club go forward in all ways.

“I just can’t fault the job they have done, all in all. It’s not a time to look for faults and reasons when the season is ongoing, there is always time afterwards to reflect and look at things differently for the coming season.

“From Graham down, the staff and players have all had an excellent season and have done really well.

“I have no plans [to change manager], apart from finding some consistency and that involves going into the summer and regrouping before going again.”

County were two points off the play-offs when they won at AFC Wimbledon in mid-March but they are now 12 off seventh.

Coughlan has pointed to the small squad and injury problems as the prime reason but Jenkins, a leading figure in the Swans’ rise from the fourth tier to the Premier League, also believes there is an ambition issue at the Exiles.

South Wales Argus: County owner Huw JenkinsCounty owner Huw Jenkins (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“Ambition and mentality that we should be up in the play-off area and should be there or thereabouts, that may have helped us a little bit with the inner belief that we could achieve it and carry through,” he said.

“I hope that by looking at that in the summer and building that into our make-up a bit more that survival is not the only thing we are after, we are after a bit more than that, that can certainly help us through the season.

“Everybody involved at Newport has done a tremendous job over the years to get the club back to where it was.

“I know how difficult it is to just keep ticking over and stay in League Two, making sure you are not involved in relegation issues.”

Jenkins, as he did in detail to the Argus at the start of the year, reiterated that recruitment and trading players will be key to County’s business plan under his ownership.