WILL Evans admits Newport County AFC are a team ‘in transition’ but has hailed coach Nelson Jardim’s immediate impact in setting up the club’s new brand of football.

The Exiles are preparing for a new era in League Two after the departure of manager Graham Coughlan.

Owner Huw Jenkins has led a recruitment drive that has so far brought in eight new players and he is also hunting a head coach.

The former Swansea chairman made no secret of his desire to develop a playing identity when he launched what turned out to be a successful takeover bid.

That has led to Jardim, who worked under Jenkins at the Swans, being appointed as lead coach before a head coach has been appointed.

It’s early days but Evans, top scorer last season and now a talisman, is impressed by what he has seen from the Portuguese coach who has joined Dafydd Williams and Jim Hollman on the backroom staff.

INFLUENTIAL: County striker Will EvansINFLUENTIAL: County striker Will Evans (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“Nelson has been brilliant since he’s come in,” said Evans. “He’s set up meetings with us players and staff and has stamped down the authority in the way he wants the club to play.

“He wants to play really good, attacking football and wants us to press from the front.

“The sessions he has done so far have been really good and have shown clear signs of how he wants us to play as a team.

“For us, it’s about building on what we did last year and adding that extra step to our game.”

At 26, Evans is almost now an elder statesman in the County squad despite having just two campaigns in the Football League under his belt.

The forward, whose exploits attracted bids in the January transfer window that were rebuffed, has been joined by eight new recruits.

Goalkeeper Jacob Carney and defenders Joe Thomas, Ciaran Brennan, Matt Baker and Anthony Glennon will try to keep things tight at the back while midfielder Kai Whitmore and attackers Oliver Greaves and Michael Spellman will help Evans provide a goal threat.

BREAKTHROUGH: Will Evans had a superb season under former boss Graham Coughlan at CountyBREAKTHROUGH: Will Evans had a superb season under former boss Graham Coughlan at County (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“We’re in a bit of a transitional phase with the squad and the way we want to play, but everything has been positive so far,” said Evans, who scored 25 times last season.

“Pre-season is about making everyone feel welcome, helping new players settle in, and that’s certainly been the case this week.

“From what I’ve seen from the new signings so far has been impressive. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes at the club about bringing the right players in.

“I think the lads we’ve brought in will be good in the changing room and it’s about us all kicking on together now.

“I’m really excited for the new season. Last season was obviously a positive campaign for me, but it’s about building on that now and taking the confidence and momentum from last season.

“I’ll look back on my goals, and particularly the goal against Manchester United with fondness, but that’s in the past now and it’s a new season.

“It’s a new season which means new ambitions and new goals. It’s about getting as sharp as I can for pre-season ready to hit the ground running come August.”

The Exiles play the first of six away friendlies when they face Undy of Ardal SE at the Causeway on Saturday as they build towards the League Two opener at Cheltenham on August 10.