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Graham Coughlan relieved to see the season come to an end

27 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Credit: Ben Whitley/PA Wire

Newport manager Graham Coughlan admitted he was relieved to see the season come to an end as he saw his side thrashed 4-1 at play-off chasing Bradford.

“It’s been 10 games too many for us,” he said. “It’s not been good or acceptable.

“We’ve got too small a squad to try and compete for 57 games, we were running in treacle every game.

“We have demanded a lot of them and got a lot from them. If the season had finished in mid-March then we would have been relatively happy but it didn’t and we ran out of steam.

“For the first half an hour we were really good. I don’t see that as a 4-1 game but we have been getting punished.

“Let’s get it straight, the first two goals that we conceded were inexcusable.

“With 44 minutes on the clock we just needed to see it through to half-time. Instead, we came in 2-0 down after two free headers six yards out – that needs to be sorted if we are to take play-offs and promotion seriously next season.”

Bradford manager Graham Alexander refused to discuss hard-luck stories after just missing out on the play-offs.

The Bantams beat Newport 4-1 at Valley Parade to end the season with five straight wins but they finished a point off the top seven.

Alexander said: “We did our part today but not over the course of the season. But all we could do was win our game and see what fate decided.

“It’s gone against us but I’m really pleased with how the players approached the game and the supporters who came in brilliant numbers.

“Everyone connected with Bradford City handled themselves really well.

“I wanted the players to understand it was a test and there was going to be a lot of pressure on us to basically chase three games in one.

“We had to focus on just winning ours and I think they did that. Some of the football we played was superb.

“We were courageous on the ball and tried to score many more goals.

“It was frustrating at 0-0 for quite a while. The crowd got a little bit restless but we kept our composure.

“For our younger players, they will have learned a lot about how to manage occasions like that.”

Bradford struck twice just before half-time after Newport had created the better chances.

Calum Kavanagh opened the scoring from Brad Halliday’s cross and then Andy Cook headed home from a Richie Smallwood free-kick for his 19th goal of the season.

Bobby Pointon fired a third goal after the break before Harry Charsley pulled one back for Newport, whose eighth straight defeat equalled their worst run since returning to the EFL. Cook set up Jamie Walker to score a fourth for Bradford in added time.

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stuart stanton
stuart stanton
22 days ago

Living locally I was at the game, bit of a come down after the Swans blistering performance down the road at Huddersfield a week earlier. Say this for the County, yes, they were exhausted on the field but the terrific vocal support – outdoing the 18,000 home crowd – showed that passion and trust were undimmed. Roll on August!

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