ounty manager Mike Flynn again distanced himself from the lingering rumours linking him with the managerial vacancy at Shrewsbury Town. Speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Gloucestershire, he stated, "I've not heard anything, my agent's not heard anything. I'm the manager of Newport County and I'm very happy; I'm concentrating on the two big games coming over the weekend. That's it."
County are also buoyed by the side's upturn in their recent form, having consecutively picked up three 2-0 victories in as many competitions and a decreasing injury list. The latest of which, against Colchester United, was described as "a good win against a top side" by gaffer Flynn as he looked ahead to the almost-derby game at the weekend. He continued, "I thought they [Colchester] shaded it in the first half without really creating anything but after we changed things around in the second half, I thought the boys were excellent."
Flynn was quick to hype up the talent of the squad and it's capabilities on the back of that game, stating boldly, "If my players turn up and play to the best of their ability and don't make any silly mistakes, they can beat anyone in the league."
The key thing for County now is consistency, particularly with the hectic Christmas schedule nearly among us, already padded out with extra fixtures against Wrexham in the FA Cup and Cheltenham Town again in the Checkatrade Trophy.
"You need to keep putting runs together, you've got to repeat the good run of form. We're starting to get people back fit, it's going to be an interesting couple of months."
Cheltenham come into the game this Saturday as the only side in League Two yet to pick up a league home victory; they have picked up nearly four times as many points on the road as they have at Whaddon Road. Their 2-0 FA Cup victory against 10-man Ebbsfleet remains their only win at home since April 7th.
But despite having scored only five goals at home this season, Flynn is very aware this is a stat that doesn't mean anything; Macclesfield Town hadn't a point on the road until they came to Rodney Parade. Flynn picked up on the challenge by saying, "Smaller pitch, away rom home, team scrapping away down the bottom - it's going to be tough."
Flynn was pleased to announce that this is shorter again this week as Andrew Crofts is back in training after a lengthy absence with an achilles injury. Joss Labadie is also nearing a return to the side but while Robbie Willmott's hamstring injury picked up against Colchester is not as bad as first feared, he will not be risked in Gloucestershire on Saturday. Cameron Pring is likely to deputise in his absence; the youngster on loan from Bristol City having put his hand up for a starting berth with a goal from bench against Colchester United last time out.
Scot Bennett remains a long-term absentee and Tyler Forbes also remains out; Flynn declared this would likely be the case for another two weeks.
Saturday's game is another which, on paper, looks like a banana skin. A side with a poor record thus far, struggling to keep themselves above the dotted line at the wrong end of the table and one of league's lowest scorers. But as their away performces differ so greatly, Cheltenham are also a side capable of putting up a fight. So while I still believe that County will pick up all three points, they may not be gained as easily as first meets the eye.
Prediction: Cheltenham Town 1-2 Newport County
I will be live-tweeting updates from Whaddon Road; follow @DanielFrazer7 for coverage of the game and general County news and chat!