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Graham Coughlan delivers scathing verdict on Newport after loss to Accrington

09 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Newport manager Graham Coughlan admitted after a “car-crash” defeat to Accrington that his side have run out of steam.

Bryn Morris scored a stunning long-range opener but Alex Henderson headed in Jack Nolan’s cross on 22 minutes and Tommy Leigh netted Stanley’s second goal just 20 seconds after half-time.

Joe Pritchard wrapped up the three points with a tap-in on a miserable night for County, who saw a goal from substitute Luke Jephcott ruled out for offside late on before Adam Lewis was shown a straight red card in stoppage time for a full-blooded tackle on Dan Martin that led to a touchline fracas.

Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Nigel French/PA Wire.

“Some of the things that we are doing is car-crash material,” said Coughlan, who has now overseen five successive defeats in League Two – the Exiles’ worst run for seven years.

“Some of the players are showing their levels, and that’s the disappointing thing.

“We have taken them to a level and to where we wanted to get them but some of them just can’t maintain it and stay at that level.

“We have three games left and we have to limp over the finish line, which is killing me. All the hard work we have put in and we are getting displays like that and players playing the way that they are playing.

“At the end of the season we will sit down and have a conversation with a number of them and see where we go because you can’t perform the way that they are performing and expect to be rewarded.

“Thank God we have got to 55 points because this lot have run out of steam and run out of ideas, physically and mentally.”

John Doolan paid tribute to his players’ character and intensity after Accrington’s fightback.

“I thought we started well, even though we gifted them a goal. We got the equaliser, which was a great goal, and then we took control,” said Doolan, who celebrated a second win in his seventh game since replacing John Coleman in the Accrington hotseat last month.

“Tommy Leigh and Shaun Whalley had chances and we could have gone in ahead. Thankfully we got two good goals after the break, and we could have had more goals.

“The lads responded well. We’ve got some character in this team and the spirit is fantastic.

“I’ve asked the lads not to come off it and they didn’t. This is the intensity I want. Everyone put a shift in.

“We’re not going to come off it; we want to finish the season strong to go into pre-season and next year.”

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