By David Williams
The Cup dream is dead, long live the League Two dream, according to Newport County manager Michael Flynn.
Three days after the cruellest defeat to Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup, Flynn has already erased it from his immediate thoughts and expects his players to do the same when they return to League Two action at home against Mansfield today.
The Exiles were only three minutes away from beating Steve Bruce’s Magpies and reaching the Carabao Cup quarter-finals for the first time.
But Jonjo Shelvey’s late equaliser sent the game to penalties and County were beaten 5-4 in the shootout with Ryan Taylor and Brandon Cooper missing from the spot.
“Everybody is fine. Newcastle is forgotten about now,” said Flynn. “They are all in a good place and looking forward. That’s all we can do. It’s good we are in a position to put the football club on the map, especially at times like these. It’s good to put smiles on faces when people might be feeling down and it’s important we carry on trying to do it.”
Flynn continued: “There were a lot of positives to take from the Newcastle game. The league is a totally different kettle of fish, but we have to stick to our principles and hopefully it will carry on working for us. It’s been a very good start and I want that to continue.
“The players Newcastle brought on was a big compliment to us.”https://t.co/NhSadiGcjB
— The Chronicle (@ChronicleNUFC) October 1, 2020
“Mansfield is going to be a tough game. They are one of the bigger spenders in the league. We have had a lot of games in a short space of time so getting that intensity again is going to be tough.
“The players will give it their all like they always do.”
Newport were heroic to a man against Newcastle and it was cruel on 20-year-old Swansea loan defender Cooper that he missed the crucial penalty.
Cooper was outstanding against the likes of Andy Carroll, Callum Wilson and Joelinton and has had a fine start to life in League Two.
“Brandon is fine. I rang him and Ryan after the game to make sure they were OK. They are not the only ones in the world to have ever missed a penalty,” said Flynn.
MATCHDAY | Back in Sky Bet League Two action⚽
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) October 3, 2020
“Even Lionel Messi has missed one. I remember watching Roberto Baggio miss one at a World Cup. No one could believe it.
“Brandon has settled in superbly and he’s a great lad. I actually tried to get him last season, but it didn’t happen. It was the right time this time and I’m really pleased with him.”
Newport are yet to lose this season and start the weekend in third place in League Two with today’s opponents Mansfield in 18th.