ike Flynn has insisted that the play-offs are no longer on his mind as he looked ahead to his side's third match in seven days at home to Cheltenham Town on Friday night.
Having lost both of the the previous two without scoring - not even registering a shot on target at Northampton on Tuesday - County have slipped to 13th in the table, eight points from seventh place but still with a game in hand. And despite next weekend's game with Oldham being re-arranged as a result of international call-ups, which will theoretically give them an extra week's rest, Flynn's side haven't looked like a side ready to make a push to earn a 47th and 48th game of the season.
Flynn said of the Northampton game, "The performance was a lot better [than against Colchester]; it was a difficult result to take. I thought 0-0 was a fair result but we didn't test the keeper enough [or at all]."
On the subject of the play-offs, Flynn told the press, "I'm not even thinking about it. I've said before we've got to put a run together. We've got to get back-to-back wins and we've got to start picking up points away from home. We've been strong at home but we don't play every game at home but the away form hasn't been good enough."
The front pairing of Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond have more goals between them this season than the rest of the squad combined, including the now-departed Antoine Semenyo. When asked how conducive this was to a positive move up the table, Flynn admitted, "There hasn't been enough goals from anywhere else in the team [other than the strikers] and it's something I'll be looking to improve on next season. There's those with three and four goals; Antoine is a miss because he gave us something different but it is what it is, we've just got to get on with it."
Flynn insisted that it's not all doom and gloom, however. He said, "We're on exactly the same points as we were last season, and with a better cup run. The boys are working hard and we've got to go out now and do the business on Friday night."
Cheltenham's fortunes have taken a relative upturn in recent times, having won five of their last nine games compared to three of the previous 13. Manager Michael Duff has seen his side climb to relative safety 13 points above the relegation places and now sit just four points and places behind County and even have a better goal difference.
While the Robins took the victory over County in November, it has been honours even between the sides when it comes to league competition to date. Both teams have two wins to their name and have shared five draws; though none of these have been 0-0.
Ben Tozer will make his first return to Rodney Parade since his departure last summer; the solid centre back with the long throw-in has become a mainstay in Duff's side this season. Former County loanee Cameron Pring is also set for a return; the left-sided player never really got much of a chance during his time in South Wales, only appearing 11 times - mostly as a substitute - scoring just once.
Ben Kennedy has been out with a Toe injury in recent times but pending scan results, he will be in contention for the Cheltenham visit but Andrew Crofts, Fraser Franks and Matt Dolan remain sidelined. New signing Will Randall is expeceted to retain his position in the squad, likely remaining on the bench.
Prediction: Newport County 1-0 Cheltenham Town
After missing the previous couple of games, I will be live-tweeting the action from Rodney Parade on Friday night; give me a follow on @DanielFrazer7 for updates!