ewport County come back down to Earth tomorrow afternoon on the back of their huge FA Cup victory over Leicester City as they travel to Gresty Road to face Crewe Alexandra.
County go into this game having gained just one League Two point from their last five outings, but manager Mike Flynn hopes that the heroics of last weekend can be the springboard from which his men can get their faultering season back on track, while accepting that the upcoming fourth-round tie against Middlesborough will likely at the back of the players' minds. Speaking ahead of the game, he said,"It [the win over Leicester] was a perfect day. They are playing for a place in the team; if they're not producing the goods, they won't be in the team. We've got to start winning games."
Dan Butler returns to the squad from his cup suspension but the trip north will be too soon for the return of Joss Labadie or Andrew Crofts. Tyreeq Bakinson will be hoping for a return to the first XI in the week in which he extended his loan stay at Rodney Parade to the end of the season. Striker Modou Touray has gone back out on loan to Merthyr Town after a very successful spell at Barry Town.
Vashon Neufville, fresh from his baptism of fire against Leicester remains available and Flynn was keen to point out the benefit of having him on loan. "I thought he did very well considering he was thrown in at the deep end" he said. "I thought he was solid, looked comfortable and he'll only get better when he gets used to how we want to play."
"I can fit the two [Neufville and Dan Butler] in. He gives me an extra option; we can go 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3; we can get Dan further foward, we can get Vashon further forward," Flynn concluded.
Crewe come into this game looking for their first win of 2019, the home side having taken just a single point from their two outings this calendar year. However, they do have their own man in form in their ranks. Chris Porter has scored in each of the Railwaymen's four outings, including the penalty which rescued a point at Morcambe last weekend.
David Artell's side will be looking to avenge the 1-0 defeat suffered at Rodney Parade in August - in which Paul Green missed a penalty - and level the head-to-head between the sides, having picked up a single victory in five meetings between the sides compared to two Newport wins and a pair of draws.
Crewe have just the one injury concern; they are waiting to check on the fitness of defender Eddie Nolan; he has been rated 50/50 with a calf strain which has kept him out of the last two games.
Alexandra have won eight of their 13 fixtures at home so far this season, and County's league form has generally been pretty woeful. But after such a memorable performance last time out, the question remains as to which Newport will stride out on Saturday. The home side will be looking to atone for a rather ordinary performance against Morecambe, but this one is sure to be tight.
Prediction: Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Newport County