GRAHAM Coughlan believes he will know when his time at Newport County AFC is coming to an end – and that next season he will profit from harsh lessons learnt on their losing streak.

The Exiles have endured a torrid League Two run-in and face a tough task on Saturday when they finish at play-off hopefuls Bradford City.

County travel to Valley Parade with the aim of avoiding an eighth defeat on the spin, which would equal the nightmare run under Graham Westley in January of the 2016/17 Great Escape season.

The squad is stretched by injury and a number of players are drained after a 57-game campaign that featured a memorable FA Cup run when they gave finalists Manchester United a scare.

Nonetheless, Coughlan is feeling the pressure after going from the fringes of the play-offs in mid-March to 17th in the table.

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

“I don’t need [owner] Huw Jenkins, the fans or anybody to tell me [the run is unacceptable], I am a football person and understand,” said Coughlan.

“We are not equipped to get through this period [of injuries], which is similar to the autumn. For a football club to go through those periods twice in a season, one or two things need to be addressed.”

“I take it personally and hard. I am a winner and have never known anything like this in my career,” he continued.

“We have to get stronger and build, not only on the field but off it. We are all hurting but we will learn from it and grow from it.

“Had we had a little bit more resources or personnel I think we would have been a play-off team, and we were heading in that direction before the roof caved in. That’s something to hold onto, we weren’t far off.”

Some had speculated that Jenkins, whose takeover was rubber-stamped in January, would like to have his own man at the helm.

The chairman rejected that idea and publicly backed his boss last weekend but Coughlan believes he will be the first to detect the end of his tenure.

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

The former Bristol Rovers and Mansfield boss said: “It won’t take Huw Jenkins to tip me on the shoulder and say ‘Graham, your time is up’.

“I will know myself when I can’t push or get any more [out of the players]. It won’t come to that or me walking down the sideline with the crowd baying for my blood.

“That will not happen because I will know before it and there will be no dramas or muck-slinging, no caning each other.

“That will never happen. I will know when it’s my time but it’s a brilliant job, I love it and I am determined to deliver success for the club.

“There is more fight left in me, more football left in me and I still think there is something to be done at this club.

“In the face of adversity we will rise up and be stronger for these games because we will know the reasons why.

“We weren’t too far off in March and it took a lot of work behind the scenes energy to get there. I think we can do something along those lines again.

“If I can’t, I will be the first to hold my hands up but we are a long way away from that just yet.”