Newport County captain Joss Labadie. Pic: Getty Images.
Joss Labadie will be captain for Newport County’s biggest match since their return to the Football League.
Midfield player Labadie has completed a three-game suspension and will wear the armband against Accrington Stanley at Rodney Parade (3pm).
“It’s a huge game for us,” says Newport manager Mike Flynn. “I said a couple of weeks ago we had six cup finals, now it is three.
“We need to get back to winning ways, but are playing a really good team.”
Flynn also confirmed: “Joss is the captain. Pipey (David Pipe) has been the captain for the last few games because of Joss’ absence and I thought it was the right thing to do.
“David does it the right way, he prepares the right way and he’s definitely matured as a footballer over the last few years.
“Also maybe a little bit of me thought he was captain when we were promoted so it would be a good omen.
“We need people who have experience, energy and leadership and it’s great to have Joss back.”
Newport also welcome back centre-half Mark O’Brien, who missed the 6-1 defeat at Plymouth Argyle with suspected concussion.
“We’ll have Mark O’Brien back,” said Flynn. “We really missed him at Plymouth. He has been a rock at the back and it’s a big bonus to have him back.”
David Pipe, who has a hip flexor problem, and Scott Bennett, suffering from a damaged hamstring, are both rated doubtful against Accrington.
“Pipey and Benno are touch and go,” said Flynn. “We’ll give them every opportunity to get back fit because they are two big players for us.
“This is a game where we need courage and those two have it.
“Accrington put together a great run and I have a lot of time for their manager, John Coleman.
“They are fighters, they’ve got themselves in a fantastic position, but I’m confident if we play our best, we can come out winners.”
Accrington travel to Newport on the back of a 15-game unbeaten run that has seen them move to within two points of a play-off spot.
Newport are one point behind Hartlepool United in the battle to avoid relegation. Rivals ‘Pool take on Barnet at home.
League Two table – bottom three only, two will be relegated
All teams play 46 matches
Pl GD Pts
22 Hartlepool United 43 -19 43
23 Newport County 43 -23 42
24 Leyton Orient 43 -33 36
Newport: v Plymouth (away), Accrington (home), Carlisle (away), Notts County (home).
Hartlepool: Barnet (home), Cheltenham (away), Doncaster (home).
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