NEWPORT County manager Dean Holdsworth has moved to his ease his defensive worries by signing Charlie Clough from Bristol Rovers.

The 20-year-old, who joins on a one-month loan deal, is nominally a holding midfielder but is likely to get his first opportunity in central defence after Chris Todd picked up a groin strain in the warm-up at Cambridge United on Saturday.

Clough, who has made one appearance for League One Rovers this season, could be thrown straight into action for the Exiles in tonight’s home clash with Forest Green Rovers (kick-off 7.45pm) providing his international clearance goes through in time.

At 6ft and more than 12st, the youngster would provide a strong physical presence alongside captain Gary Warren – currently the only fit central defender at Spytty Park after Ollie Thorne’s departure to Kidderminster.

Holdsworth had lined up Clough before Todd’s injury and he’s delighted to add him to a squad full of confidence after recording four straight wins in the Blue Square Bet Premier League.

“I’m constantly on the lookout for players that would add to our squad and Charlie’s name came up again and again,” said Holdsworth.

“He’s a strong player who is highly thought of at Bristol Rovers and he’ll be a tremendous asset over the next month.

Jamie Collins filled in magnificently for Toddy on Saturday but Charlie coming in gives us more options in one or two departments.”

Fifth-placed County are just three points behind Conference leaders Crawley Town and could potentially be joint top with a fifth successive win tonight.

“It’s a fantastic position to be in,” said Holdsworth.

“We are full of confidence at the moment but we won’t be taking anything for granted against Forest Green.”

The Gloucestershire outfit have lost their last four games, conceding 11 goals in the process, but the Exiles boss insists they will provide another stern test for his players.

“There’s no room for complacency because in this league if you give any team the chance they can hurt you,” he added.

“As long we do the right things and prepare well we’ll have a good chance but the players know they have to work as hard as ever to get a result.”