Michael Flynn insists there will be no Cup hangover this time following Newport County’s exit from the Carabao Cup.
County’s hopes of another giant-killing chapter to add to their illustrious recent history were swiftly ended by West Ham on Tuesday night when the Premier league club won 2-0 at Rodney Parade to move into the third round of the tournament.
Last season, following their brave FA Cup defeat to Manchester City, Flynn’s side lost three of their next five League games – a sequence that almost put them out of the run-in for the League Two play-off places.
But after watching his team create plenty of chances against the Hammers, before losing out to individual errors, Flynn insisted: “I’m not too concerned about a repeat of last season.
“This is a lot earlier in the season than the FA Cup run of last time. We’re also a lot more able to switch back and the boys are in good form.
“I’m not too concerned about any effect at all, their fitness is good, and hopefully we will have a couple more players fit and ready to be involved at the weekend.”
Newport – who are still unbeaten in the league so far this season and are fifth in the table – face a tough trip to Forest Green this Saturday, who lay in third.
Rather than provide a deflating back-drop, Flynn believes his team will be buoyed by the way they matched West Ham for much of the game before they were undone by individual errors.
Goals either side of half-time from Jack Wilshere and Pablo Fornals, after mistakes from Kyle Howkins and Scot Bennett, gave the Premier League side victory.
But County had opportunities of their own with Padraig Amond going close in the first half and Josh Sheehan hitting the bar late on.
“I thought we were very good but you can’t make those mistakes like we did for the two goals,” added Flynn.
“The first one with Kyle then Scot and you can’t afford to miss the chances we had.
“We had two sitters. Score first and it’s a different game.
“I thought Tristan Abrahams was immense. They really couldn’t handle him all night. We had a few players missing with injury, so it just shows the strength in depth we have here now.”
Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini said: “I’m happy for the result, because we qualify for the next round, happy for not conceding a goal and happy with the performance – especially the last 45 minutes of the game.
“I think we dominated [in the second half]. The first 45 minutes was more equal.
“We knew that Newport is a difficult team here in this pitch with a direct style with so many crosses, but I think that we played a good game.”
“Congratulations to Newport because the pitch was a very good pitch to play on. Normally maybe in League Two [it is not so good] but we are in summer, in winter it may be not so good!
“It was a very good pitch and the atmosphere was fantastic. They had a couple of opportunities but we knew they would.
“If you review the history here, they lost against Manchester City in minute 91 and 93, they draw with Tottenham, they beat Middlesbrough and they beat Leicester.
“And in the last five games, they conceded just two goals so we knew beforehand that it was a tough game and that’s why I’m happy to be in the next round and to eliminate this good team.”
Flynn added: “It’s always nice when Mr Pellegrini says how impressed he was with our team. But you still want to win those games.”