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Mickey Demetriou Rescues County’s Christmas . . . It Will Go Ahead In May

Newport County’s players will not lose their Christmas party after all – they have just postponed it to May to make way for tonight’s FA Cup replay against Wrexham.

It had been suggested that County manager Mike Flynn had cancelled the squad’s Christmas shindig altogether because it clashed with their attempts to make the third round.

But thanks to defender Mickey Demetriou’s shrewd decision to cover the costs with an insurance policy, the jaunt around Dublin will now go ahead in six months’ time.

For Wrexham, though – who had also organised a party in the same city for this evening – the fun will only come from the satisfaction of a victory and chance to host Premier League opponents in Leicester City.

“At least our lot had the foresight to insure against it,” said Flynn of the mothballed Irish trip.

“I don’t think the Wrexham players did. Mickey was in charge and he’s pretty tight!

“He’s quite switched on with things like that and we weren’t taking anything for granted.

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“We didn’t assume we’d turn Wrexham over and have a free week after Swindon. Fair play to them, they used their brains for once and they can have the party in May now.

“Christmas is neither here nor there – I’m focused on beating Wrexham, then MK Dons, and then Lincoln. Call me Scrooge, but Christmas will definitely be cancelled if we don’t beat Wrexham.”

Newport drew 0-0 with Wrexham in north Wales to set up a replay. Whoever comes out on top tonight will host former Premier League champions Leicester in a tie worth £150,000.

“Mickey’s done well,” said Newport captain Andrew Crofts, who is a doubt to face Wrexham with a hamstring injury. “It’s a disappointment we didn’t win the first game so we could go away, but we’re not bothered about that now. That’s gone.

“We haven’t really spoken about it. Christmas parties are good, but playing football is our bread and butter. That’s what we’re paid to do and we can’t wait to do that.
“Come the end of the season we’ll hopefully be celebrating something bigger.”

Caretaker Wrexham manager Graham Barrow believes the lure of the Foxes has given the replay an extra festive spice – parties or no parties.

“The draw’s made it a better game for me,” said Barrow, who took over the National League club after the departure of Sam Ricketts to Shrewsbury.

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“There were a lot of games – no disrespect to the sides – that once you get to the third round you would not have wanted.

“If you can get through, then to get a Premier League team would be fantastic for the club.

“The league games are our bread and butter and, while I wouldn’t say it’s a free hit, it’s near enough that. We’ve done ourselves proud in the Cup this year so let’s go and push it and give it one more go.

“It’s about not putting too much tension and pressure on the game and I feel that’s when we express ourselves better.”

Wrexham come into the game on the back of a 2-0 victory at home to Eastleigh on the weekend. James Jennings’ goal after just two minutes gave the Dragons the lead before Bobby Grant’s first goal for the club doubled the lead.

Newport, however, lost 2-1 in their League Two match away to Swindon Town, where Padraig Amond scored their only goal.

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