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‘Today is a low point’ – Graham Coughlan on Newport’s loss to Harrogate

07 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Mike Egerton PA Images

Newport manager Graham Coughlan admitted a 2-1 home defeat for his injury-hit side against Harrogate left him feeling at his lowest ebb during his 12 months in the job.

Harrogate led 2-0 thanks to goals either side of half-time from George Thomson and Anthony O’Connor.

The home side pulled a goal back through Will Evans – his 10th of the season – just before the hour mark, but they could not find an equaliser.

A sixth defeat of the season sees Coughlan’s men slip to 19th in the League Two table and he was not happy with what he saw from his players.

“Too many players didn’t turn up and the goals hurt us – one or two players need a reality check and to have a look at themselves,” said the Exiles boss.

“This is probably the lowest that I have been since I walked through the front door, there is still life in me, and I have enough experience and fight to carry this on and keep fighting but today is a low point. It’s the lowest that I have felt in 12 months.”

Aaron Wildig almost rescued a point for the Welsh side with four minutes remaining, but his header came back off a post.

“Did we deserve a point? We probably did but you have to do more, we didn’t turn up in the first half,” added Coughlan.

“You can’t perform like that and expect to take anything out of the game. Had Wildig’s header gone in and not hit the post then we would have got out of jail.

“We are shooting ourselves in the foot, we are showing our naivety and inexperience. It’s hard to stomach.”


It was a different story for Harrogate manager Simon Weaver, who saw his side record a third win in four games to climb to 15th in the table.

“We’re delighted with today’s showing; I thought we showed a bit of everything, and we had to to get the three points,” said Weaver.

“There was a lot of gritty defending in the last 10 minutes, but before that I thought we were in a dominant position at 2-0 because of a dominant display.

“There was fluent passing, good forward movement and we caused them problems.”

Thomson put Harrogate ahead after 42 minutes with a 25-yard strike and O’Connor headed in from a corner seven minutes after the break before Evans’s close-range finish at the other end.

“The goal we conceded obviously offered them an opportunity to get back into the game and we had to show our resilience at the end,” added Weaver.

“I thought our centre-halves dealt with Omar Bogle probably the best we’ve ever dealt with him, because he always seems to score against us!”

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