Mike Flynn is relishing a Newport old boys’ reunion in the FA Cup after his County giant-killers drew a fourth round trip to Tony Pulis’s Middlesbrough.
Flynn – whose team knocked Leicester City out of the competition on Sunday – was hoping for another home tie or a second crack at a Premier League club.
In the end, he drew neither. But a trip to one of the biggest clubs in the Championship and a chance to lock horns with one of his managerial heroes still has a certain romance.
The Monday night draw also delivered a quirky Welsh angle for Swansea City, who were first out of the pot and drawn at home to Steve Lovell’s Gillingham.
Former Wales international Lovell is from Swansea and after his team had knocked Cardiff City out of the Cup on Saturday, he said he wanted his home club in the fourth round.
Lovell has his wish, but both the Swans and Newport will feel they have decent opportunities of reaching the fifth round when they ties are played on the weekend of the 25th and 26th of January.
Of his clash with Pulis – who hails from the Pill district of Newport – County boss Flynn said: “It will be good to see Tony Pulis, another Newport man, who is in charge there.
“He’s someone I have a lot of time and respect for. He’s a great man and very helpful if I ever need anything.
“Hopefully, they are concentrating on going for promotion from the Championship. And getting back into the Premier League.
“It’s a long journey and it will be a tough game.
“They are a big club and hopefully they will take their eye off the ball and we can surprise them again.”
Newport will again be hoping the live TV cameras are in the North East which would help swell their bank balance further after the near £500,000 they have banked from the tournament so far.
Flynn added: “It’s been a great achievement for all the players at the football club and well deserved.
“We played well enough to get through yesterday and deserved it and thankfully we are still in the hat.”
FA Cup fourth round fixtures:
Swansea City vs Gillingham
AFC Wimbledon vs West Ham
Shrewsbury or Stoke vs Wolves
Millwall vs Everton
Brighton vs West Brom
Bristol City vs Bolton
Accrington v Derby or Southampton
Doncaster vs Oldham
Chelsea vs Sheffield Wednesday or Luton
Newcastle or Blackburn vs Watford
Middlesbrough vs Newport
Manchester City vs Burnley
Barnet vs Brentford
Portsmouth vs QPR
Arsenal vs Manchester United
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham