ewport County face Notts County tomorrow in front of its largest crowd since 1983. County know that a win will guarantee their football league status for another year A sell-out crowd of 7,500 is expected to be at Rodney Parade for tomorrow’s 5:30pm kick off.
County will be on the cusp of the most unlikely of escapes. When caretaker manager Michael Flynn took over, Newport were 11 points form safety, with just 12 games to go.Flynn appeared over 110 times in four stints as a player at his hometown club before taking over as Academy manger upon retirement. Academy products Regan Poole, Aaron Collins and current first teamer Tom Owen-Evans all attribute part of their rise to Flynn. Flynn insists he would like to remain County manager regardless of which league they are playing in next season. “Of course I would like to stay on. It’s my first shot at being a manager and it’s where I see my future,” he said.
Flynn is embedded in Newport football and is indebted to the facilities at the Newport International Sports Village, especially Dragon Park where he obtained his UEFA Pro Licence. “(There are) so many good people at Dragon Park and it’s helped me mature as a coach and as a person as well,” he said.
County go into the tie, knowing that anything but a Hartlepool win will also be good enough for the South Wales club to survive. The highest attendance at Rodney Parade this season was against Portsmouth. Over 3,700 fans turned up for the 3-1 defeat in December. The largest crowd before tomorrow’s fixture was in 1983, when over 16,000 spectators turned up on Easter Monday, to watch County take on foes Cardiff City.
On-loan Swansea striker, Alex Samuel, misses out after being stretchered off last week. The 21 year-old has been instrumental in County’s turn around, despite a low goal return – as he has bagged just two since his January move. Other than Samuels, Flynn could have a full strength squad available to him, including newly crowned League Two player of the Month, Mickey Demetriou.
The Newport County board have also requested that the fans keep of the pitch, should their survival be confirmed. The club could be fined up £200,000, if there is a pitch incursion.