Support our Nation today - please donate here

Graham Coughlan: We’re missing too many players to be competitive

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

Newport boss Graham Coughlan bemoaned his side’s last gasp 2-1 loss away at Colchester.

He said: “The performance wasn’t great and nor was the result.

“I thought their bench won them the game – it’s a very, very strong bench and we just don’t have that.

“At this moment in time, we’re missing too many players to be competitive and we’re not strong enough or good enough, at this moment in time.

“We’re coming up short in games and I just think the season is catching up with us.

“We’ve asked a lot of this group of lads and a number of those lads on the pitch have played 51 games – that’s a big, big ask.

“You can see that physically and mentally, we look a team that has played 50-odd games and I just don’t have the strength in depth to impact the games the way they did.

“They (Colchester) are third from bottom and they’re bringing those type of players off the bench and we can’t do that.”

Colchester’s Alistair Smith hit the crossbar in the first half while Newport goalkeeper Nick Townsend denied John Akinde minutes later.

Newport took the lead through Zanzala when he scored after a mix-up between U’s goalkeeper Owen Goodman and Connor Hall.

However, Iandolo equalised in the 75th minute, netting at the far post from Cameron McGeehan’s corner, before Mingi slammed home from Noah Chilvers’ pass to seal Colchester’s victory.

Colchester boss Danny Cowley admitted his side made life difficult for themselves but was delighted with the way they fought back to claim a crucial win.

The relegation-threatened U’s were without a win in eight matches and looked set for more frustration in a game where Cowley felt they had ‘total dominance’ after falling behind to Offrande Zanzala’s 42nd-minute opener.

But Ellis Iandolo drew the hosts level with 15 minutes to go before Jay Mingi struck in the second minute of stoppage time, securing a dramatic 2-1 victory that keeps Colchester a point above second-bottom Sutton in League Two.

Cowley, speaking after his first home win as U’s boss, said: “It was probably the best way for us to win a game when we haven’t won for so long.

“To win it that late on, it didn’t give us that much time to think – we don’t make it easy for ourselves, do we!

“It was a really good win for us.

“We had total dominance of the game and total control.

“In the first half, we were the only team taking the game and they obviously sat very deep and made it very difficult for us.

“We had to have good emotional control and we did that but then conceded a goal from nowhere.

“It’s a bad habit that we have and we made life difficult for ourselves but credit to the players.

“To come in at half-time behind to a team that pretty much hadn’t had a shot on target is tough but I was pleased with the second-half performance.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.