NEWPORT County AFC’s struggling players will either step up to the challenge or ‘melt’ in Bradford City’s hostile arena, believes manager Graham Coughlan.

The Exiles finish their League Two season with a trip to Valley Parade to face a Bantams side who have an outside chance of the play-offs.

Bradford must become the eighth successive side to beat County and then hope that Barrow and Crawley slip up against Mansfield and Grimsby.

Coughlan’s side have limped to the line after being just two points off the play-offs in mid-March and now they need to dig deep or risk a hammering in front of a bumper crowd at a fantastic stadium.

“It’s a brilliant game, I’d love to be able to pull my boots on and go out there in front of 22,000 fans and represent the club and go in the mixer with the lads,” said former centre-half Coughlan.

South Wales Argus: PACKED: Bradford will be roared on by a bumper crowdPACKED: Bradford will be roared on by a bumper crowd (Image: PA)

“It would be right up my street and you will see what one or two players are made of. They will either step up to the challenge or they will melt because it’s definitely a hostile arena. It’s Bradford’s players as well that will need to handle the occasion.

“It’s one that I am really looking forward to – I don’t love the period we are in at the moment but if ever you wanted a game to come out of that run it is this. Go up to Bradford and try to salvage something from your season.

“If you want to be a winner, if you want to be successful and be at this club next year, you need to turn up.

“Can we do that? That’s a question still hanging over the squad because it looks like we can’t win an argument at the moment, let alone a football game.

“I know that they are giving their best and I know that they are trying, that’s not in doubt, but it’s just the quality moments offensively and defensively that we need to be better at.

“That comes with experience, nous, legs, energy and confidence. If ever you could restore confidence, pride, professional standards and give a little bit back to your club it would be this game.”

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

County looked set to turn a losing streak into a winless run last weekend only for Matt Smith to strike in added time to earn a 1-0 win for Salford at Rodney Parade.

“We want to win to finish the season on a high, if that’s even possible [because of the losing streak],” said Coughlan.

“We want to stop the bleeding, which we thought we could’ve done last week before the sucker punch.”

Coughlan kept his cards close to his chest when it came to the names of individuals that could boost his injury-hit side.

“There might be one or two who, in the last week of the season, might find their way out of the physio’s room and onto the team sheet,” he said.

“They won’t be able to impact the game from the off, so we don’t have many options.”

County could also be without striker Omar Bogle after last season’s top scorer, who had been playing in a deeper role, was forced off by a muscle strain against the Ammies.