NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn believes his players can take confidence from their performance against West Ham United as they return to League Two action at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

County bowed out of the Carabao Cup after a 2-0 defeat to the Hammers at Rodney Parade on Tuesday night and Flynn was frustrated by the defensive errors and the missed chances that cost his team dear.

But he was also encouraged by the way his side stood up to their Premier League opponents and carved out plenty of opportunities.

“We’ve created some really good opportunities and we looked a good team,” said the Exiles boss.

“And it’s always important that you do that live on TV because no one wants to be embarrassed.

“We didn’t want to get a 5-0 hiding and then go to Forest Green at the weekend, which is going to be another very tough game.

“We haven’t done that, the players worked extremely hard and there are a lot of positives.

“It’s good that we’ve created those opportunities against a Premier League football club.”

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Flynn reserved special praise for striker Tristan Abrahams, who gave French centre-back Issa Diop a torrid time.

“I thought Tristan was immense,” said the manager. “I don’t think they could handle him all night.

“Robbie [Willmott] was very good, as were Ryan Haynes and Danny McNamara. They all put a shift in.

“And we were missing five or six players so it shows the strength in depth we’ve got now.”

And Flynn is not worried that the end of a cup run could lead to a slump in league form, as has happened after County’s recent FA Cup success.

“It’s earlier in the season than the FA Cup runs so I’m not concerned about that,” he said.

“The boys are in good form, their fitness is good and hopefully we should have a couple more fit and ready to be involved at the weekend.

“I think Joss will be OK for Saturday and I’m hoping Jamille will.

“Matty [Dolan] is fine, Benno [Scot Bennett] came back in and George Nurse I’m hoping will be OK after a bit of a freak injury in training.

“He’s devastated because he was starting but he blocked a shot that just opened up his ankle.

“Everyone came through [the match] unscathed,” he added. “Robbie was a little bit tired at the end, that’s why I took him off.

“And it was nice that I was able to give Lewis Collins another game, live on TV. Like I’ve always said, if they’re good enough, they’re old enough.

“Hopefully he keeps working hard and he’ll have a good career.”

Reflecting on Tuesday’s defeat, courtesy of goals from Jack Wilshere and Pablo Fornals, Flynn said: “I’m gutted for them that they didn’t take their chances.

“I’ve said to Podge [Padraig Amond] that his miss was as bad as the errors [at the back from Kyle Howkins and Bennett].

“Nobody means to make errors and he didn’t mean to miss, it’s just frustrating that it’s come down to that.

“If they play you off the park, you hold your hands up but the way we lost was a little bit frustrating. They’re good enough anyway, they don’t need any help. And that’s what we’ve done with the two goals.”

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