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Graham Coughlan happy with Newport’s win over Swindon after ‘draining’ 10 days

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

Newport manager Graham Coughlan hailed his side’s character as they put the Manchester United circus behind them to fight back from a goal down and beat Swindon 2-1.

County were fortunate to be level at the break and went 1-0 down just after the restart when Paul Glatzel struck for Swindon.

Coughlan blamed the flat start on the gruelling build-up to and hangover from last week’s FA Cup defeat against United.

But he was delighted at how his players responded as Will Evans levelled with his 20th goal of the season and Seb Palmer-Houlden sealed all three points with a well-taken second 16 minutes from the end.

“We’ve got to pat our lads on the back because there are not many teams who would be able to dish that out given what we have had over the last 10 days,” said Coughlan.

“The last 10 days was emotionally draining. We were so charged up last week, the accolades, media, getting family sorted for tickets.

“We were drained on Monday and Tuesday, and you could feel that. You could see in the first half we were flat, we didn’t have our usual press, there was no energy or legs.

“It wasn’t until we went 1-0 down and the crowd got right behind us that we rejuvenated.

“Fair play to the lads because I have been there before myself and it’s not easy, you can’t just switch it on and off. That game was a really stern test.”

It was a frustrating afternoon for Swindon’s interim manager Gavin Gunning, who saw his side dominate the first half and hit the woodwork twice – through Dawson Devoy early on and substitute Harry McKirdy at the death.

“The performance was very good,” said Gunning. “There was a 15-minute spell where we were really poor, but apart from that I thought we were fantastic. We were cutting them open, creating loads of chances and it just wasn’t meant to be.

“That’s football, if you don’t take your chances, you get punished. We’ve done enough to win that game, but sometimes you get punched in the face.

“We clicked back into bad habits after scoring and maybe that’s my fault as a coach, maybe the message wasn’t clear enough.

“It’s a frustrating day, but at least we can see that we’re going in the right direction. We just have to eradicate that sloppiness.”

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