ounty manager Mike Flynn has been quick to insist that the links made between him and Shrewsbury Town in midweek is merely speculation and that he remains focused on the tricky task of dealing with Colchester United on Saturday.
Having been linked with the vacant Shrewsbury managerial position, Flynn was eager to distance himself from the rumour, saying, "I haven't heard anything [from them], my focus is on getting three points against Colchester."
Inferring that the board may have pre-empted an approach and spoken to him on the subject, Flynn continued, "The board have been very helpful with the Joss Labadie deal and I know they'll back me in January so it's something that as far as I know is just speculation."
However, Flynn did admit that he is unlikely to make County the pinnacle of his managerial career. "I'm not going to say I'm going to stay at Newport for the rest of my life" said Flynn. "I want to manage in the Premier League. I've got a dream to manage in the Premier League; this [Newport County] is the first step to getting there. I'm ambitious and the board have assured me they'll back me in January."
Looking ahead to Colchester, Flynn said "It is a big game because it's a team just above us in the league and a team we want to overtake on Saturday. We win tomorrow, it's a big, big statement."
While Colchester come into this game on the back of consecutive cup defeats, they have have won four of their last five league outings and have only been outscored this season by league leader Lincoln City. Frank Nouble returns to Rodney Parade where he spent last season, bagging nine goals. The Frenchman was subject of strong criticism during a dip in form for the Exiles and will be looking to add to his 2018-19 tally in South Wales on Saturday.
"It's going to be tough. They're really good going forward; they've got players like Ryan Jackson and Frank Nouble who I know well. I've got every bit of faith in the lads to go and get the three points."
Scot Bennett will be missing on Saturday following what seems like a recurrence of his hamstring injury sustained on Tuesday night, while it remains too soon for Andrew Crofts and Joss Labadie to make a return to the matchday squad. Additionally, Tyler Forbes misses out due to inflammation on his pubic bone. However, Crofts is set to begin training sometime next week and Joss has "been joining in" this week so all remaining well, he is not far away from making his latest debut for the club. On a more immediate brighter side, Cameron Pring is fit after suffering no reaction following training on Wednesday.
Colchester's climb up the table has been largely based around a very strong home record but their away form has been somewhat lacking in comparison, only picking up two wins on the road all season. However, the U's did the double over County last season and their formidable forward line is something that the Exiles' back line will have their hands very full with. But on the back of two positive results (and clean sheets to boot), it is all set to be a very exciting match with lots of chances and many talking points.
Prediction: Newport County 1-2 Colchester United