ounty boss Mike Flynn says that Padraig Amond's call-up into the Republic of Ireland's provisional squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers is "nothing short of what he deserves."
Amond could become the first County player in 36 years to get an international cap and Flynny was quick to point out the magnitude of his achievement, stating "He's going to work with a fantastic manager in Mick McCarthy and it goes to show any professional footballers out there not to give up on their dream, no matter what that may be."
He continued, "Padraig has shown that at the age of 30, you can get an international call-up and hopefully gets into the full squad because I'm sure he'll score goals for them."
John McGreal's side come into this game just outside the play-off places, having dropped out after a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Swindon Town last time out and no win in any of their last three matches. Coupling this with Newport's indifferent form (alternating between wins and losses in their last five outings), this is a game which is entirely up in the air, much like the play-off race itself.
Flynn recalled a previous era of his management when asked what it would take to earn a top-seven berth, stating "I think we're in Great Escape territory; seven [wins] out of 12."
Despite dropping as low as 15th in recent weeks, Flynn admitted, "There's a lot to play for; 12 games to go, starting with two really tough ones (Northampton Town away follows Saturday's trip to Colchester). It could be [a key game] but if we don't get a result and we get one on Tuesday then that still keeps us in the mix with ten games to go."
Flynn remained coy on the subject of injuries, be it long-term or otherwise but County are expected to remain without long-term absentees Andrew Crofts and Fraser Franks for the trip to Essex, while Matt Dolan's fitnes will be subject to some scrutiny after his early departure against Carlisle last weekend.
While Sammie Szmodics will be the main goal threat from Colchester (assuming he is over the chest infection which saw himmiss the game at Swindon), it is Franck Nouble who will arguably gain more attention from the Newport fans. The big frontman scored ten goals for County last season before he was transferred out for free last summer.
Prediction: Colchester United 1-1 Newport County