STAND-IN skipper Mickey Demetriou has assured the Newport County AFC fans that the players will be fired up for the FA Cup as they aim to bounce back from defeat at Notts County.

The 10-man Exiles were beaten 3-0 at Meadow Lane after Dan Butler’s first-half dismissal and slipped to eighth in League Two as a result.

It is now three games without a win following defeat to Colchester United and a frustrating draw with Mansfield Town in the last two games at Rodney Parade.

Michael Flynn’s men now switch their attention to the FA Cup as they host League One Walsall on Saturday evening (kick-off 5.15pm) live on S4C.

And Demetriou, who wore the armband against the Magpies in the absence of Joss Labadie, Mark O’Brien and David Pipe, says the players will be determined to put things right this weekend.

“We’ve got a big game against Walsall now to bounce back,” said the centre-back.

“We’ve always bounced back and hopefully we do that again against Walsall.

“Any game would have been good, even if it wasn’t the FA Cup.

“We know we need to give the fans something to cheer about again.

“Obviously the fans who came [to Notts County] didn’t have much to cheer about so we can try to thank them next week and at least put in a good performance.”

Demetriou agreed with his manager in pinpointing the red card as the key moment in Nottingham.

“It was tough. They are obviously a good side but I think the scoreline flattered them a little bit,” he said.

“I don’t think we deserved to lose 3-0.

“It was very even. We both had chances when it was 11 against 11 but decisions cost us. I think the red card changed the game.

“Going down to 10 men, the hardest thing was to stay in the game.

“Going in at 1-0 down I still felt we had a chance because we always create chances.

“But to be 3-0 down within 10 minutes of the second half starting really killed us.”

Demetriou defended his defensive colleague Butler, who was adjudged to have used ‘excessive force’ while challenging for a high ball.

“If the ref knew Buts as a person then he’d know he didn’t [do that on purpose],” said the 27-year-old.

“I think they just both led with their arms and obviously their lad has come off worse. He was screaming and obviously the crowd jumped on it.

“Unfortunately the ref pulled out a red card. I had a word with him and I told him you have to jump with arms, you can’t not jump with arms.

“I think it was just 50-50 and one person came off worse but there were a few tackles like that and he didn’t bring the red cards out then.

“But that’s enough about that. It changed the game but we could have done better as a team.”