‘Don’t let Foxes tie distract us’
MIKE Flynn has warned his Newport side not to get distracted by the prospect of facing Leicester City in the FA Cup and instead focus on beating Swindon Town today.
The Exiles face Wrexham in an FA Cup second round replay on Tuesday with the winner set to face the former Premier League champions.
But Flynn insists his side’s focus will first be on overcoming Swindon. Three points would potentially put the Welsh club into the automatic promotion places in League Two.
“I’m not interested in the FA Cup at this stage,” said Flynn.
“We’ve got Swindon on Saturday – that’s all I’m concerned about. And then we’ve got a big game against Wrexham before we can even think about facing Leicester.
“It means nothing. It could be Real Madrid, but if we lose it means nothing.
“I hope it doesn’t enter the players’ minds because they won’t be playing if it does.”
Tyler Forbes and Joss Labadie have returned from injury while Robbie Willmott, Matty Dolan and Keanu Marsh-Brown could all be in contention to face Swindon.
But despite making his comeback in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy penalty shoot-out defeat at Cheltenham Town, Labadie is unlikely to be selected this weekend.
Flynn is keen to protect his former captain and not rush him back too early.
“It was great for Tyler and Joss to get some minutes and hopefully we’ll have a few more back for Saturday,” said Flynn.
“That’s what we need. We haven’t had that competition of late. We’ve had to keep to the same players and they’ve done very well, but they’ve played a lot of games and we need to freshen it up a little bit.
“We’ve got too many games in the next month and they’re all big ones. Joss is definitely not ready to start yet. He’s got a long way to go and I’m not putting any pressure on him.
“It’s the first step of the final stage and he got a good 20 minutes at Cheltenham, he scored a penalty, and he looked confident so I’m really happy. “I’m not going to rush him. He’s been training very hard with us, but we’ve got to make sure he doesn’t pull up with any other injuries.
“It’s not the knee I’m worried about – it’s the hamstring going, or the calf, or the thigh”.
■■MERTHYR Town will be desperate to get back to winning ways after crashing to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Hendon last weekend.
The result was their first defeat in four and the Martyrs will be aiming to put that right when they play hosts to Kings Langley, who are currently mid-table in the Southern League Premier Division.
Merthyr, meanwhile, lie in fourth place with 28 points accrued so far this term and boss Gavin Williams will be looking for a repeat of the club’s emphatic 4-1 victory over the same opposition last time they met back in April.
Kings themselves will also be keen to get firing again, having won four on the spin prior to a midweek defeat at Beaconsfield.