Shawn McCoulsky’s Challenge For Newport County Start

Newport County could give striker Shawn McCoulsky his big chance at Notts County on Saturday (3pm).

McCoulsky is County’s top scorer on seven goals and has scored in each of their last three matches after going on from the bench.

Manager Michael Flynn has spent the last few days thinking through his options and one of those is playing McCoulsky alongside Frank Nouble and Padraig Amond in a 4-3-3 system.

Amond has netted six goals for Newport, while Nouble is on five.

Josh Labadie had been supporting the front two in an attacking midfield role, but he is ruled out by a hamstring injury and McCoulsky could provide the answer.

“Shawn has given me plenty to think about and that’s what I want,” says Flynn.

“Those are the problems I want. He’s coming on and scoring goals.

“Is he ready to start? We’ll find out Saturday.

“But what I will say is that he’s definitely been more dangerous when he comes off the bench. Certain situations suit certain players differently.

“What he did show me last Saturday is that he can do the stuff I want him to do and the things he needs to do consistently to improve as a footballer.

“He’s running the channels and getting hold of the ball now and was a lot more careful with the ball.

“Shawn can play in a two or a three. It depends on which Shawn you get. If you get the one who plays in the channels and holds up the ball then he can certainly play in a three.

“If not then he’s better in a two where there’s a decoy and he can maybe have a little bit more space when the defenders are occupied with another striker.

“These are all the thoughts I’m having and I’ll make what I think is the best decision for the team to go and win the game.”

Newport travel to play a Notts County team who are unbeaten at their Meadow Lane stadium.

“They haven’t lost at home so it’s there for the taking,” said Flynn.

“Let’s be the first team to go and beat them there.

“They are a strong team and it will be a tough game, but they’ve had a little dip in form so hopefully we’ll catch them at the right time.

“I’m confident that we can go there and cause them problems.

“I just hope we have that killer touch and earn the win because I think the boys have been magnificent. We probably deserve a few more points, but we’ve just conceded sloppy goals.”

Newport County, probable: Day, White, O’Brien, Demetriou, Pipe, Tozer, Bennett, Dolan, McCoulsky, Amond, Nouble. Subs: Willmott, Barnum-Bobb, Owen-Evans, Quigley, Bittner, Butler, Rigg.

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