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Newport Insist Scot Bennett Will Be Ready For Cambridge Exam

By Paul Jones

Scot Bennett will be fit to play at Cambridge on Saturday despite being substituted in the first-half of Newport County’s 5-0 EFL Trophy home drubbing by Norwich U21 on Tuesday.

Manager Michael Flynn admitted he had hauled off the experienced defender in the 32nd minute as a precaution ahead of the League Two leaders’ game against Cambridge United this weekend.

“I couldn’t risk him. We were able to rest a couple tonight with Saturday in mind and because we’ve had so many games I just can’t risk any injuries,” said Flynn.

“That was our 10th game in 30 days, which is a lot. We’re back at it in the league on Saturday and even though this result is disappointing, it won’t dent our momentum.

“It was important to get 90 minutes into Kevin Ellison, Saiko Jenneh and Tom King, so there was definitely something on the credit side of the ledger. There were some things we needed to get out of the game and we did that, but it wasn’t a good result, it was a bad result.”

Having been beaten 1-0 by Cheltenham in their opening game in Group N, their interest in a competition in which they reached the semi-final stages last season is probably now over.

But Flynn is still pleased he took the chance to promote a handful of his youth team products.

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“It was a decent game in the first half and then in the second half Norwich ran more than us, they looked better than us and they looked stronger than us,” said Flynn.

“It is disappointing to lose 5-0, but the big thing is a couple of youth team players have had some experience. They will learn from that.

“I’m not going to point a finger at any of them because there were a couple of pros who didn’t come out with much credit.

“We’ve given another couple of players their starting debuts and another couple a game off the bench. Harrison Bright came on to make his debut alpng with Zac Maher and Callum Ryan-Phillips started – it’s more debuts and now they know the level they need to get to.

“Norwich were an U21 team, whereas a lot of our boys were only 18 or younger. With the way things are, our academy boys need to be ready at 18 if we are going to offer them a pro contract – it’s just the way it is because we haven’t got the time or money to nurse them through.

“A couple of League two academies have gone, but at least we are trying to do the right thing and operate at a profit.”

 

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