DEFENDER Mark O'Brien insists Newport County AFC don't fear anyone as they prepare to take on current League Two leaders Exeter City at Rodney Parade this afternoon, writes Ollie Barnes.

Today's clash will be the third time this season that the side at the top of the table has come to Newport, with both Plymouth Argyle and Crewe Alexandra suffering 1-0 defeats last month.

Despite the on-paper advantage that Exeter have, being three points clear at the top of table with no losses so far this season and five points clear of the sixth-placed Exiles, O'Brien says there will be no inferiority complex in the home dressing room.

"Any team that has come to Rodney Parade for the whole time that I've been here, we've never feared anyone," said the centre-back.

"If we play to the best of our abilities, there's not many teams that can stop us."

County are currently the division's joint leaders with Forest Green Rovers in terms of the number of clean sheets kept (six) and the lowest number of goals conceded (five) so far this season.

O'Brien said: "Everything's been going really well, so far, defensively.

"You don't get the results that we've gotten over these last couple of games by just a handful of people doing a job, there's a full 11 of us, plus the people coming on off the bench, that are doing an amazing job."

This streak of defensive prowess has seen County's back line dubbed 'the meanest defence in League Two' and O'Brien is proud of their record.

He said: "Obviously, any striker would go by the goal tally and score as many goals as you can, and me as a defender, I want to get as many clean sheets as I can."

O'Brien is confident that if he does his job, and does it effectively, the rest of the team will do their part too.

"Everyone knows if you keep a clean sheet all the way to the 89th minute, we've got players on this team that can score late winners," he said.

The defender is also pleased that Michael Flynn has made the decision to stay as manager following interest from League One Lincoln City, as it means the team does not have to worry about any drastic changes.

"It's brilliant," said the Irishman.

"All that's been pushed under the carpet now and we can just get on with what we need to do this season.

"If a new manager comes in, everyone is on edge not knowing if he's going to want them to stay or want them to not stay.

"But he's staying and it has given us that little bit more of a boost and everyone can just get on with the job in hand."

When asked about whether he thinks Flynn can take them all the way to promotion this season, O'Brien said: "The manager has always said to us that we want to just finish as best as we can.

"If we play to our full potential, then anything can happen this season."