Michael Flynn: Newport County manager expects to lose key players

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Newport’s Matt hails ‘special group of players’

Newport County manager Michael Flynn concedes some key players will leave after the club missed out on promotion to League One.

Connor Jennings' last-gasp extra-time winner for Tranmere Rovers settled a tight League Two play-off final at Wembley.

Flynn concedes the loss will inevitably lead to departures to clubs at a higher level over the summer.

"I'm going to lose a couple, that's obvious," Flynn said.

"I don't want them to go, they're my best players. But there's nothing I can do about that.

"They've got to take an opportunity, if it comes, to earn more money or play at a higher level.

"I've got a big job to do. I'm already planning for next year and I'm close to having a couple done."

Flynn previously stated County would need to be promoted to keep highly-rated goalkeeper Joe Day, whose current deal expires in June.

Mickey Demetriou and Joss Labadie are among other players out of contract, but Robbie Willmott and Padraig Amond signed contract extensions earlier in the season.

Joss Labadie (left) in action against Tranmere
Former club captain Joss Labadie re-signed for Newport at the start of the 2018-19 season.

Midfielder Labadie said he was keen to remain at Rodney Parade

"Everyone knows I love the club - they gave me another chance to come back," Labadie said.

"We're going in the right direction… we'll have to see."

Flynn said he was "proud" of his players' efforts at the end of a season in which a 10-game unbeaten run saw them clinch a play-off spot having also reached the FA Cup fifth round.

"They gave absolutely everything," Flynn said after the play-off final defeat.

"I can't ask for any more. They should be proud of themselves because that's a good trait to have.

"I could live to 250 and I don't think I'd have a group of boys as good as I've got here.

"They've given me their absolute everything, day in, day out, week in, week out and I can't praise them enough.

"They are a fantastic group of lads."