FORMER Newport County AFC manager Graham Coughlan believes the Exiles ‘very nearly made the impossible happen’ over his time at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles are hunting for a new head coach after the departure of Coughlan and assistant Joe Dunne.

The duo had been in charge since October 2022 and steered the club away from a relegation battle in their first campaign, then punched above their weight last season.

Amid financial fears that led to a small budget and the eventual takeover by Huw Jenkins, County were in contention for the play-offs and enjoyed a lucrative FA Cup run.

That push for the top seven was ended by a second injury crisis of the season and the club ended up 18th in League Two after finishing with eight losses on the spin.

With Jenkins calling the shots at Rodney Parade, former Mansfield and Bristol Rovers boss Coughlan left his role as manager but has expressed his pride about the job done in his spell in Newport.

GONE: Graham Coughlan has left Newport CountyGONE: Graham Coughlan has left Newport County (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“To the staff and players of Newport County, I want to express my gratitude and admiration to you all and say that it was an honour, a privilege and a pleasure to work with you guys over the last two seasons,” he said in a League Managers Association statement.

“To our fantastic fans, we had our highs and lows, but the loyal and unwavering support you gave us was unbelievable and very much appreciated by me, the staff and the players.

“Constantly fighting against all odds is never easy, but the players got on with it and gave their all every day, running through brick walls and upholding the values and principles of the Newport people.

“We achieved a lot in the last two seasons, made some great memories and very nearly made the impossible happen.

“Finally, I would like to extend my best wishes to everyone at the club for the coming season.”

County return for pre-season training on Monday with Jenkins still searching for a new head coach ahead of the League Two campaign, which starts on August 10 at Cheltenham.