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Graham Coughlan: Newport lacked nous and experience in Salford defeat

04 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Mike Egerton PA Images

Graham Coughlan says Newport lacked “nous and experience” as their “ugly side” resurfaced in the defeat at Salford.

Manager Coughlan has overseen notable improvement following his appointment by the Exiles back in October, guiding the Welsh club away from trouble at the foot of Sky Bet League Two.

And Newport were poised for a fourth straight unbeaten away match when Harry Charsley steered the visitors in front after 29 minutes.

Goalkeeper Joe Day kept Salford at bay, producing point-blank stops to deny Louie Barry and Conor McAleny.

But promotion-chasing Salford never looked back following Callum Hendry’s leveller moments before the break. McAleny raced through to flash an 18-yard shot into the corner 52 seconds after the restart and Matt Smith completed the scoring with a header from Elliot Watt’s corner deep into stoppage time.

“You go 1-0 up and expect to defend your goal better,” said Coughlan.

“We lacked that little bit of nous and experience…the timing of their goals was crucial, one just before half-time and one just after half-time.

“We had our moments and were in the game, we had a number of chances but didn’t take them.

“They were clinical and didn’t need to be asked twice to take chances…that is why they are where they are in the league and why we are where we are.

“That type of performance probably got me the job, if I am honest, they had a few of those performances before I came in.

“It is always there, always in the background, you are trying to stave it off and keep it away as long as possible.

“The ugly side has come out today and I hope it’s a one-off because I didn’t like some of the things I saw and some of the performances.”

On course

Salford’s push to escape League Two is firmly back on course following a three-match winless streak after claiming seven points from three games over the past week.

Neil Wood’s side were well worth their victory on Saturday and but for a mix of some excellent goalkeeping from Day and wayward finishing would have won by a more convincing margin.

“We started the game well and a slice of luck put them in for their goal,” said manager Wood.

“After that…the goalkeeper pulled off some unbelievable saves and I thought it was going to be one of those days.

“But we kept going and put pressure on before half-time, you could feel it coming and it was a great finish from Callum Hendry.

“And we knew if we got the next goal, we could be in control of the game.

“I was really pleased to come from behind and win but would have liked to finish the game off quicker with the chances we had.

“We have spoken about when we are on top of games and scoring early, we need to capitalise on that and be better at finishing off teams more quickly.

“We have a goal threat in the team and are the third highest scoring side in the league.

“It is definitely there, we just need to go on the pitch and show it.”

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