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Newport boss confident he can turn things around after loss to fellow strugglers Rochdale

08 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Photo David Davies. PA Images

James Rowberry insisted he is still the right man to lead his hometown club Newport after a 1-0 home defeat to Rochdale, who started the day bottom of League Two.

A fifth-minute James Ball header sealed all three points for the visitors, who climbed off the foot of the table, and condemned the Exiles to an eighth defeat in 13 games – leaving them 18th a week after winning at then-leaders Leyton Orient.

There were boos at the final whistle and Rowberry admitted he was not surprised.

“That’s football and it’s my responsibility as manager of the club,” he said.

“It falls on me and what we have got to do is recognise the work that needs to be done, show greater consistency and start winning.

“I have felt pressure from day one, it’s my responsibility to get things right as a team and a football club.

“I never feel pressure from above, I put the pressure on myself. The greatest pressure always comes from me.”

Sticky period

When asked if he feels he is the right man for the job, Rowberry replied: “Of course I do. People will question that right now but it’s about coming out of this sticky period stronger and better for it.

“It doesn’t look great when you lose to the club bottom of League Two and it looks good when you win at the top of the league.

“Ultimately you are judged by your last performance in every aspect of football whether managing, coaching or playing.

“We shouldn’t be losing to the bottom of the league, we recognise that and we have things to work on to get better for next week.”

There were contrasting emotions for Rochdale boss Jim Bentley, who celebrated a second successive win on the road as his side climbed above Crawley and level on points with Harrogate in 22nd.

“It’s a big win for us,” said the former Morecambe manager.

“We deserve loads of credit. We worked on a rear-guard action – making sure our shape was good and our ability to defend our box was good.

“And we showed great spirit and togetherness. We had a good defensive shape and we showed desire and determination individually.”

Bentley’s one complaint was that his side did not wrap up the points before the break as Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Scott Quigley squandered golden opportunities.

“I think we need to brush up going the other way – we could have been out of sight with a couple of opportunities in the first half,” he said.

“But, overall, I think we deserved it in the end – just. We gave it our absolute all. We emptied the tank and played with spirit and character – all the things that we’re going to need going forward.”

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