NEWPORT County manager Dean Holdsworth has pulled off a triple transfer coup just in time for Christmas.

The table-topping Exiles squad has been severely hit by injuries in recent weeks and the manager has acted decisively, bringing in a new defender, midfielder and extending the deal of an attacker already at the club.

Holdsworth has swooped to sign defender Aaron Morris, a current Wales U21 international with Cardiff City, on an initial one-month loan. He has agreed a similar deal to sign the vastly experienced 28-year old midfielder Ashley Nicholls who joins from Bishop’s Stortford, also for an initial month, pending the paperwork being concluded in Nicholls’ case.

Morris, 21, has featured four times for Wales U21s in the current campaign under boss Brian Flynn and is a first year professional at the Bluebirds. Nicholls, a graduate of Ipswich’s academy, arrives after spells with Darlington, Rushden and Diamonds, Grays, Boston and Maidenhead United.

However, perhaps the most exciting news for supporters is that Kerry Morgan, the popular forward on loan from Swansea City, has agreed to stay for the remainder of the season, a move backed by his parent club.

These transfers will not impact Holdsworth’s plan to sign a central defender once the transfer window opens in January and with Ashan Holgate, Danny Rose, Nathan Davies, Dave Gilroy and Takumi Ake all sidelined by injury, and come at a perfect time according to the boss.

“It’s perfect timing for us really, we’re thrilled to welcome Aaron and Ashley on board and they can both contribute for us at a time when we’re a little short,” Holdsworth said.

"Aaron has the right pedigree, physique and ability to make an impact and he’s desperate for some game time. I’ve spoken in depth to Terry Burton at Cardiff and it’s a win, win move for both clubs, particularly with Paul (Bignot) facing a suspension,” added Holdsworth.

"Ashley Nicholls is a player who has been on our radar, he’s an excellent player with a full-time player’s mentality and I was shocked to see his name on a circular, we’ve moved quickly to get him.

"With Ashan Holgate, Danny Rose and Nathan Davies all out, we needed a fresh face and Ashley is a winner, he’s been a captain at a lot of his clubs and I love to sign leaders."

Morgan provides a welcome boost as well and Holdsworth is thrilled to have him staying on.

“Kerry’s a great prospect and has done excellently for us, he has a very good attitude, a desire to do well for this football club and the lads love him, he’s a big part of things here," he said.

Further good news arrived yesterday with Danny Rose’ latest scan on his broken foot revealing that he’s well on the road to recovery, expected to be back in contention by mid-January.

“Danny has just been in touch, he’s had another scan on his foot and the complete rest has done a lot of good,” Holdsworth confirmed.

“It’s a lot less sore for him now and he should be back in training as soon as Christmas is out of the way. He’ll pick things up straight away hopefully.”

The Exiles are in action three times in the next week, travelling to Worcester City on Boxing Day, looking to extend an imposing 12 point advantage at the top of the Blue Square South with a game in hand.

They then host Dorchester on December 28, with a bumper crowd expected for the first of two festive games in three days, Worcester travelling to Newport on New Year’s Day for another league clash set to be played in front of a big crowd.

The Exiles then take a break from the Blue Square South, facing Conference outfit York City in the FA Trophy at Spytty Park on January 9.