AFTER a taste of life at the top table on Saturday it’s back to the bread and butter of League Two for Newport County AFC tonight as they face one of their toughest trips of the season.

The Exiles were simply superb as the held Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup fourth round.

Michael Flynn’s men were cheered to the rafters by nearly 10,000 fans at Rodney Parade and they have been lapping up the unprecedented media coverage ever since the final whistle.

It’s not every weekend that County are live on BT Sport, first on Match of the Day and on the back pages of nearly every national newspaper.

It would be easy for the players to be buried by this avalanche of attention, to believe they hype and take their eyes off the real prize – potential promotion to League One.

Just three days after that monumental effort to contain a team of international stars, including Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min, they must forget Saturday and put thoughts of the impending Wembley replay out of their minds.

The Exiles players have to recharge their weary bodies and refocus their no-doubt frazzled minds and ensure that they are in the best shape possible to take on Lincoln City at Sincil Bank this evening.

Flynn couldn’t stop himself from yawning as we chatted about the game yesterday lunchtime and I don’t think it was just down to the boring questions.

He was shattered after an endless parade of interviews over the past week and the intense pressure that the national spotlight brings.

And that was on top of the usual meticulous pre-match planning undertaken by him and his coaching team – as revealed by The Sun yesterday.

We will only know how much the build-up and the match took out of the players after the first 20 minutes tonight.

South Wales Argus:

Flynn has spoken of his anger at the decision to reschedule this match so soon after the Spurs tie and it certainly gives the hosts, who had their feet up at the weekend, a big advantage.

As a consequence it’s likely that the Exiles boss will look to freshen things up with the likes of Mark O’Brien, Matty Dolan, Josh Sheehan, Emmanuel Osadebe, Shawn McCoulsky and possibly Paul Hayes likely to be in contention to start.

Nobody in the eleven that did so well against Tottenham will want to step aside but Flynn has built a competitive squad this season and now could well be the time to use it.

A win tonight would really prove what a good squad the manager has at his disposal and he could yet add to it again before tomorrow’s 11pm transfer deadline.

So tight is League Two that County, currently ninth, could potentially move level on points with fourth-placed Wycombe Wanderers tonight or they could be back down to 10th.

Defeat would certainly not signal the end of their play-off (or even automatic promotion) ambitions and a draw would be an excellent result.

But a win would send a message to their rivals that this is a side who are serious about challenging for a place in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1987.

It’s a match that has to be seen as a real test of their mettle and tonight’s opponents are a great example of how to juggle cup and league ambitions successfully.

The Imps were the toast of the FA Cup last season as they beat Oldham Athletic, Ipswich Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Premier League Burnley before eventually crashing out to Spurs’ North London neighbours Arsenal in the quarter-finals last March.

It was the first time a non-league club had progressed to the last-eight of the world’s oldest cup competition since 1914 and Danny Cowley and his team were feted all over the country.

But they did not let their extraordinary cup adventure divert them from their primary aim of winning promotion back to the Football League after six years in the Conference.

Lincoln stormed to the National League title six weeks after their 5-0 defeat at the Emirates, holding off a strong challenge from Tranmere Rovers to finish four points clear at the top of the table.

Like County under Flynn, Wayne Hatswell and Lennie Lawrence, Cowley’s team have ridden the wave of momentum into this season and they too are challenging for promotion this season.

If the Exiles need any inspiration as we enter the business end of the season they need look no further than the team lining up against them tonight.

Beat them and they have to be considered genuine promotion contenders.