ike Flynn takes his injury-hit squad to Bury tomorrow night looking to put the nightmare of Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Crawley Town behind them. Defeat could see County lose ground on the teams in the automatic promotion places.
The exiles were poor in that game, to the extent that some sections supporters compared the performance to that of against Yeovil Town last month, and they will have to improve against an improving Bury side if they are going to come away from Greater Manchester with a result.
It is hoped that some of the injury-hit players that were missing on Saturday will return; seven first-team players adorned the treatment table for that one. Despite coming off with a hip injury, Flynn is confident that Jamille Matt, who scored his eighth goal of the season against Crawley will be fit to retain his place. The Exiles will also be without Fraser Franks who was sent off for a rash challenge on the halfway line in the latter stages.
Speaking after Saturday's defeat, Mike said, "We’ve just got to knuckle down and try to get some players back for the game and hang in there. I’m sure the players will bounce back – we’ve lost three points, [but we've got] to get back to the drawing board and hopefully we'll have a few more players back."
Bury are going through an impressive run of form; they have climbed to 7th in the league table under Ryan Lowe on the back of just a single defeat in nine matches. Dispatching Notts County 4-0 at home on Saturday, the Shakers' confidence is currently flying high; they have no new injury worries and this unbeaten run of six matches will form the basis of another tricky night for County.
In Nicky Maynard, Bury possess a one-in-three (almost) striker who has experience in the Premier League and despite his career arguably stumbling over the past couple of seasons, he is starting to get back to his old self, having scored four goals in his five appearances so far in his loan spell.
County has to get back to basics tomorrow night; too many balls were allowed through the middle of the park against Crawley and the lack of solidity in the engine room made it hard for County right from the start. Long balls to Jamille Matt to head down to those following up can be effective when it is interspersed with getting the ball on the floor but they mustn't rely on this on Tuesday. A tough night in store, but let's hope it brings the best out in the boys.
Prediction: Bury 2-1 Newport County