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Exiles boss Coughlan happy as ‘impressive’ win over Hartlepool secures League Two spot

15 Apr 2023 2 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Mike Egerton PA Images

Graham Coughlan toasted his side’s dominant display against Hartlepool on Saturday as the Exiles secured their place in League Two, and nudged the visitors back into the bottom two.

First-half goals from Omar Bogle and Mickey Demetriou sealed all three points for the home side, lifting Newport to 17th and on to 50 points, meaning they are safe from relegation.

Pools are now two points below Crawley, whom they host next Saturday, with four games left to play.

“I thought we were very good,” Newport boss Coughlan said. “It came from the first header – Mickey Demetriou went through it and punched it right back to where it came from.

“That set the tempo for us and got us on the front foot. The pressing, energy levels and all-round reactions were very, very impressive.

“From the first minute we gave ourselves a real chance of winning the game because of our intensity levels.

“The critics might say that we should have had a few more, but we were really good and I will now say those famous words, I want more of that.”

Reality check

Hartlepool manager John Askey admitted the defeat was a reality check for his side as they dropped back into the bottom two.

“I think it was always going to happen (at some point), it’s how we respond now,” said Askey, whose side suffered defeat for the first time in nine matches.

“We were second best in the first half and couldn’t deal with their long throw and their set-pieces.

“I’m obviously disappointed with the performance, but I think we were due one (a poor display).

“It wasn’t so much the system, it was more individuals not doing their jobs properly. We were sloppy and loose in our play, but I can’t criticise them (too much) because they’ve given us everything for the last eight or nine games.”

Askey believes the defeat will focus minds for the final four games, starting with a trip to Salford on Tuesday.

“We went into this game on a high and feeling good about ourselves,” he said. “This puts you back on the ground and focuses everybody again – anyone who was getting carried away.”

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