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Graham Coughlan delighted with Newport momentum after win at Doncaster

13 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Nigel French/PA Wire.

Newport manager Graham Coughlan is delighted with the momentum his side are building after winning 1-0 at Doncaster.

The Exiles have lost just twice in their last 12 matches in all competitions and head into an FA Cup replay against Eastleigh with the carrot of a home tie against Manchester United awaiting the winner.

Their performance at Doncaster was not particularly strong but Seb Palmer-Houlden volleyed home in stoppage time to snatch the victory.

“I didn’t particularly enjoy the game,” Coughlan said. “There wasn’t a lot of quality from both teams.

“It looked like two tired teams coming off a lot of games over the Christmas period, but we got the victory and held on to keep a clean sheet too, which is pleasing because that has been a long time coming and Nick (Townsend) pulled off two great saves for us.

“It feels like we are building a nice bit of momentum and, hopefully, we can keep that going.

“Our performance levels over the course of the season have been really high for 90 per cent of the games, but you don’t always have to perform well to get a victory in League Two – you just have to make sure you get your basics and intensity levels right.

“I don’t think they were in the first half, but we maybe got to grips with those aspects of the game better in the second half and it was a squad victory, not just a team victory, as the lads who came off the bench made a real impact when they came on.”

Doncaster manager Grant McCann was left scratching his head at how his side came away with nothing.

The hosts had the better of the chances on a lacklustre afternoon but were undone in added time.

“We certainly shouldn’t have lost it,” McCann said. “I think we were the better team.

“I know Graham Coughlan and I expect he’ll say they’ve done the turn on us but at the end of the day, with the chances we’ve created in the first half and the good chance in the second, they’ve got to go in.

“You have to score in those moments, particularly when you’re on top.

“We should have been two or three up. I said to the players it’s a disappointing day because they can hold their heads high at the performance but we need to take the chances to make it into a good win.

“Lapses at vital moments are doing us, and that applies at both ends of the pitch at the minute.”

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