CARETAKER manager Jimmy Dack has strengthened his squad with the loan signing of Cardiff City defender David Tutonda as he looks to get the Newport County AFC promotion push back on track.

Tutonda arrives at Rodney Parade on a one-month youth loan deal from the Championship club.

And the 19-year-old born in DR Congo is in contention to start for County at Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow with captain Andy Sandell suspended and Robbie Willmott suffering a knock against Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday.

Predominantly right-footed, Tutonda has played at left-back and right midfield for the Bluebirds development sides.

Having boosted his squad Dack insists that the Exiles can still win promotion this season despite the disruption of Justin Edinburgh’s move to League One Gillingham.

“We’re a week or two away from the end of February and we’re sitting in sixth place,” said Dack, who previously worked as Edinburgh’s assistant.

“That’s not by luck. You don’t get into the play-offs at this stage if you’re a bad team.

“Like a lot of the top teams you do hit a stumbling block and the quicker you bounce back out of it the better.”

Dack wants his side to replicate their impressive second half showing in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Tranmere when they face third-placed Wycombe tomorrow afternoon.

“In the second half on Tuesday you could see that the players were getting their fighting spirit back and their confidence back bit by bit,” he said.

“We all know what has happened but it’s time to draw a line under it and move on now.

“Justin is a big character and I’ve probably spent more time with him over the past three and half years than I have with my wife.

“It is a bit different [without him] but we’re all grown men and we’re paid to run this football club and that’s what we’re going to do.

“I’m enjoying every minute of it but if the club decides to go and get someone else in then they have my best wishes,” he added.

“I’ll just keep doing my best for this football club and come the end of the season I’ll sit down with Howard [Greenhaf] and the rest of the board and see where we go.”

Willmott is a doubt for tomorrow’s match and midfielder Lee Minshull is definitely ruled out with concussion following a blow to the head against Tranmere.

Striker Chris Zebroski, who missed Tuesday’s game due to illness according to the club, is available to play but Dack suggested he may not be selected.

“Zeb is fit to play,” he said. “Whether he plays or is in the squad is another thing but he’s back in training and ready to go.”