Newport County: Record crowd will unite city for crucial game

Mike Flynn
Mike Flynn made over 400 Football League appearances for the likes of Wigan, Gillingham, Bradford City and Newport County

Newport County boss Mike Flynn says Saturday's crucial game with Notts County will unite the city.

The Exiles were 11 points adrift of safety in League Two when Flynn took charge, but will secure their great escape with victory at Rodney Parade.

The club have sold all 7,500 tickets for the match and Flynn believes his players can conclude their miraculous recovery.

"I've been calm this week. We were dead and buried when I took over," he said.

Newport are bidding to retain their Football League status after four seasons in League Two, having waited 25-years to return to League Two after the club went out of business in 1989.

A period where they could not even find a home in Newport followed, leading to a spell playing in Gloucester, where County earned their 'Exiles' nickname.

Flynn says completing an amazing recovery from relegation would be the perfect reward for Newport's loyal fanbase and insists he is not thinking about the alternative.

Newport are two points ahead of rivals Hartlepool and will survive as long as Pools do not win against title-chasing Doncaster Rovers.

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'Staying up would mean the world to me'

"Selling over 7000 tickets is unbelievable. I've always said the support at this club is amazing, especially since I've been back at the club," he told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"They've been through the mill over the years, the years in Moreton-on-the-Marsh and reforming and getting back to the Football League after 25-years.

"They've been there through thick and thin and we want to all come together and do them proud on Saturday.

"The game is crucial. The community is coming together, it is huge. Football deserves to be in Newport and losing our status would not be great.

"I think it can be the biggest party in Newport for a long time.

"Considering how many people had written us off. We've made people believe again and we've put smiles on faces. We have surprised people.

League Two bottom
Bottom three in League Two

"I won't think about the Conference, I am very positive and so are my players."

Substitutions 'could be influenced'

Flynn says he will follow the Hartlepool score as events at Victoria Park could influence his tactics.

"I will follow the Hartlepool score on Saturday, because of the permutations, what is happening in that game might influence what we do in terms of substitutions," he explained.

"Someone will keep an eye on it for me, it won't be me, I'll be focusing on us.

"But the Hartlepool result could influence my substitutions, for example."

Desire to stay

Flynn, a former Newport player and someone born and bred in the city, is desperate to remain at his hometown club.

He agreed to become caretaker boss until the end of the season, but having wiped out an 11-point deficit at the bottom of League Two in just seven games, it would come as a huge surprise if he does not remain in charge.

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Newport County ‘in with a shout to stay up’

"I will sit down with the board, regardless of the outcome. The club needs stability and of course, regardless of what happens, I would like to stay on," he said.

"It's my first shot at management and I am ready to stay, hopefully the board will feel the same.

"I am either going to be the saviour of the club or the person who took us down. But I knew the stakes when I agreed to take over... and I am sure we will stay up on Saturday."