Newport County: Squad down to bare bones, says Terry Butcher

Newport County manager Terry Butcher
Manager Terry Butcher has much to ponder after Newport's poor start to the season

Newport County manager Terry Butcher says he will make as many loan signings as possible to bolster a struggling squad that is "down to the bare bones".

The window to make emergency loan signings opens on Wednesday.

County had six teenagers in the 18-man squad on Saturday as they lost for the fifth time in six League Two games.

"I can't say the numbers and I can't say the positions but we'll certainly look to strengthen the squad because we're down to 21 players," he said.

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"It's 20 really because Andrew Hughes is still not ready yet and we've got another four injuries on top of that. So we are down to bare bones.

"From being able to name a good squad and taking 19 players away with us, now I only had 16 players that were available today [Saturday] plus the two younger ones."

Ever decreasing options

Newport's horrendous start to the season under new manager Butcher continued on Saturday with a 3-0 home defeat by York, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the league table with just one point.

Butcher's selection options further decreased last week with the loss of highly-rated teenage defender Regan Poole to Manchester United. Another defender, Kevin Feely, left the club after deciding not to continue his career as a professional footballer.

However, part of Poole's £100,000 transfer fee will be made available to Butcher to sign players on loan, and having Feely off the wage bill also frees up some money.

As well as long-term injury victim Hughes, the casualty list at Rodney Parade also includes midfielder Medy Elito, goalkeeper Rhys Taylor and forward Alex Rodman.

Danny Holmes is suspended having been sent off against York.

"I look forward to the day when we've got a fully fit squad," said Butcher, whose side welcome fifth-placed Morecombe on Saturday.

"Nobody said it was going to be easy, but there we are."