JOSH Sheehan reckons Newport County have already made a statement of intent in League Two this season – and they will make another one by avoiding defeat at Forest Green Rovers tomorrow.

The Exiles’ 2-0 loss to Premier League outfit West Ham United in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night was their first reverse of the new campaign in all competitions.

Midfielder Sheehan and his team-mates travel to Nailsworth in Gloucestershire on an unbeaten run of 15 regular-season league games.

And while wanting to extend that sequence against Mark Cooper’s men, County will also be keen to avenge Rovers’ 4-1 victory when the sides last met.

But Sheehan is aware just how tough a task that is going to be with their opponents taking 10 points from a possible 15 and nearly knocking Bournemouth out of the cup in midweek.

“We know what Forest Green are about, they’re a good footballing team, and we know they’ve started the season well, but so have we,” he said. “It’s all to play for and we fancy ourselves.

“It will be a tough one because they’re a good team, like they were last season when they were in the play-offs.

“It will be another big statement from us to go there and pick up points, and we’re ready to go and carry on this unbeaten streak.”

He continued: “I think we’ve got to be very happy with how the season has gone so far, considering the teams we’ve played.

“We’ve played some of the top teams in League Two and done really well.

“We’ve sent out a statement that we’re here for a good season, and that’s going to be the same on Saturday playing a good Forest Green team who are near the top of the table.

“I remember last year (the sides drew 1-1 at The New Lawn last October) there was a big away following and they always make a lot of noise which helps us.

“It does feel like there’s a bit of a rivalry with Forest Green because some of the boys know each other as it’s not far away.

“Maybe we owe them one, but we’ll play our game and take it as it comes. We won’t change because they beat us on Boxing Day.

“We’re going to play our way and hopefully pick up the points.”

Sheehan feels County can take a lot of positives from the West Ham setback, although after missing a great chance to score late on, the former Swansea City man reckons he needs to start chipping in with more goals.

“I should have scored or at least hit the target,” he added. “I’ve got to score more goals. The manager has been on at me about it.

“I’ve had a few shots from outside the box but haven’t hit the target. I’ve got to practice that in training and score a few more goals.”