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Boss Graham Coughlan takes responsibility for Newport loss

14 Oct 2023 4 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan during the Sky Bet League Two match at The County Ground, Swindon. Picture date: Saturday October 14, 2023. (Credit: PA)

Manager Graham Coughlan took the blame for Newport’s 2-0 League Two defeat at Swindon.

Dan Kemp and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy were on target as Swindon returned to winning ways.

Coughlan said: “I think that this is a team sport and to just stand here and blame players is not right.

“I will not accept that my players are to blame for the goal – if anyone is to blame for the first goal.

“I have a golden rule not to blame the players, I picked them, I selected them, so it is on my head if things happen.

“For someone to come to me and blame it on one individual, that does not help.

“That is not how Newport County works and that is not how we are going to be addressing things.

“You are going to get a goal from class and quality and that is what we have got and that is where we are and we just have to keep believing and keep fighting.

“But this has happened a few times this season where we are getting beaten when we were the better team.

“We have definitely been worth something today and we have come away with nothing.”

It took the hosts just eight minutes to find the back of the net as Charlie Austin played a perfect through ball for Kemp, who beat goalkeeper Jonny Maxted to the ball, took it around the goalkeeper and slotted it into the net.

Poor play on the ball from Swindon saw Newport with a spare player in attack, Omar Bogle looked to take a shot on himself from the edge of the area, but Robins stopper Murphy Mahoney tipped his fierce effort over the crossbar.

Swindon almost added a second when Kemp played Jake Young through on goal, but with George McEachran square, he decided to go it alone and tried to send a low shot into the corner, only for Maxted to flick the ball round the post.

With Newport searching for an equaliser, Swindon countered quickly and Saidou Khan’s powerful drive proved to be too hot to handle for Maxted and Hepburn-Murphy tapped home the rebound.


Michael Flynn was very pleased with how his side managed to respond to a disappointing first half and put in a much-improved performance after the break.

He said: “In the second half I thought we were excellent. We dealt with their direct play, kept a clean sheet, and should have scored more goals.

“In the first half I thought we were very sloppy. We gave away too many balls without any real pressure on us and we let them in a few times through our poor play.

“But the second half was a lot more professional from us and a lot more pleasing.

“I said at half-time that we were going to let them back in if we were not careful. We kind of played into their hands and gave them a bit of a lift.

“The one chance just before half-time, you can’t give Omar Bogle that much space.

“We had some words at half-time, but they responded excellently and I am really proud of the players.

“We stepped up everything in the second half – our decision making and concentration on the pass.

“We played some unbelievable football, honestly, I am really enjoying watching us at the moment.

“We are a good team, even in the Crewe game we gave that one away and if we took our chances at Bradford then we would have won the game.

“Today I still thought we should have scored more goals, but it was a pleasing performance and we can still improve.”

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