ounty manager Mike Flynn highlighted the need to get into the game against unbeaten Forest Green on Saturday right from the first whistle, having conceded a pair of early goals in each of their last two outings.
Remaining jovial, he claimed, “We're just going to turn up on the 20th minute! We're gonna give them a 2-0 head start and see where we can go from there; see if we can score 4, 5 or 6 goals!”
Putting his managerial head back on, Flynn acknowledged, “It’s a strange one, it’s something we’ve got to address at home; it’s complete chalk and cheese from defending away from home. It’s one we need to be 100% on it and ready from the start". Striker Padraig Amond added, “We can’t start the way we’ve started the last couple of games, we need to start on the front foot. We can’t keep giving teams a 2 goal head start because sometime, it’ll catch up to us. It’s just little things we need to tidy up on; when we do that, I hope we’ll be winning a lot of games.”
Flynn continued to look ahead to the trip to the New Lawn as a potential sticky wicket, saying “[I’m expecting a] very very tough game; they’ve improved a lot this season. They've got some really good players; they're unbeaten this season so it’s going to be a really tough one. We had a 4-0 win last year but they are a different proposition this year. They are showing how difficult they are to beat there.”
County come into the game as one of the divisions form sides, having taken 13 points from their last six matches, including victories in each of their last three away games. This run resulted in Mike Flynn being named League Two Manager of the Month for September.
It was made clear that the loyal following – the Amber Army – will play a big part in he outcome on Saturday. “It’s a local one, I know we'll have a lot of fans there; I’m looking forward to the atmosphere. This is one of the grounds where away fans can make more noise than the home fans.” Hitman Padraig Amond echoed this sentiment, stating “The lads do thrive off a big following; last year the noise was unbelievable. Hopefully the fans will make a lot of noise tomorrow; hopefully that gives us the momentum to carry on and get the 3 points.”
Mark O’Brien continues to miss out through injury, although we have been assured it is not as bad as originally thought; Charlie Cooper is also out as part of his loan agreement with Forest Green. The small squad that County have has been put under reasonable pressure in recent games with injuries, suspensions etc but respite does come in the shape of Robbie Willmott returning to the squad, having completed his suspension and Keanu Marsh-Brown will also be in contention to play against his former club.
What is evident about Mark Cooper’s Forest Green side is that they don’t necessarily score an abundance of goals like say Colchester, but they do nearly always score; they’ve only drawn a blank on one occasion this season. The fact they’ve drawn seven league games this season also demonstrates, however, that they may not necessarily have the killer instinct to finish teams off so tomorrow’s clash will certainly be tight and extremely fascinating.
Prediction: Forest Green Rovers 1-1 Newport County