Pompey v Newport County: The Opposition view

Former Pompey defender Dan Butler
Former Pompey defender Dan Butler
Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler

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It’s been a really disappointing season – summed up by the fact County are now on to their fourth manager.

Warren Feeney, Sean McCarthy as caretaker, Graham Westley and now Mike Flynn are the men who’ve been in charge.

Flynn has made quite an impact, winning his first two games and picking up seven points from 12.

That means the gap to safety has been closed to six points.

It’s still a big task ahead but the players have been rejuvenated by his arrival and, being a local lad, he’s got the fans right on his side as well.

Until it’s mathematically impossible there’s hope they can survive.

The pitch at Rodney Parade has been a huge problem, so it means the team have ended up doing better away from home.

There’s four home and four away games left, and the away ones are against teams at the top.

Having said that, County have won their past four games at Fratton Park.

The most recent three have been 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0. When I spoke to a fan he predicted a 4-0 win!

I think that might be slightly ambitious, but the current manager scored both goals at Fratton Park in 2013 and has fond memories there.

County have also conceded a lot of penalties this season – the most in League Two.

It’s something like 17, 18 or 19 and they’ve conceded four against Plymouth and three against Leyton Orient.

County have a couple of players suspended and injured at the moment go into the game.

But Dan Butler is a player Pompey fans are familiar with.

He’s been in and out here lately. He’s been very inconsistent, but was one of the more solid performers under Westley.

You can’t quite tell how he’s going to perform at the moment.

Ryan Bird is another man with a Pompey past and he’s done very well since he’s come in.

He’s impressed and he seems to have been the type of player who has scored goals wherever he’s been.

Bird has managed to get goals early in games for County. That seems a feature of his game here.

In terms of players to look out for, Alex Samuel has certainly caught the eye since joining on loan from Swansea.

He scored his first goal against Blackpool in the 3-1 loss last weekend.

Samuel’s quite raw and the manager has highlighted he’s still got a lot to learn in terms of positional play. He’s been quite impressive so far and is probably one for Pompey to look out for.