AFTER an unexpected weekend off because of international call-ups, we were fully refreshed and ready to get back into league action last Saturday at home to Scunthorpe.
The break was brilliant for Newport County because we have had a lot of games recently and it gave us the chance to get away for a few days of sun while the majority of the UK was under water.
We also had a couple of players struggling with fitness so it allowed those lads some recovery time. We were in third position before the international break and while we had no game we dropped to fifth, but the results were very good for us and no team made ground from outside the play-off places.
It was important that after the break we hit the ground running because the game in hand could be very important in the long run when it is eventually re-arranged. If we got a victory it would put more distance between us and eighth place.
We had an excellent week’s training in the build-up and we took that straight into the game from the start. We probably should have scored after about nine seconds but for a good save from their goalkeeper.
We had to wait until just before half time to get the opening goal when I scored my sixth of the season. Even though Scunthorpe scored an equaliser just after half time, we were able to get a winning goal soon after to take a fully deserve three points.
The win was a very good one because Scunthorpe had been one of the form sides in the league coming into the game and the win also put us back into the automatic promotion places. We are now just three points off the top of the table with a game in hand to come.
Saturday was the beginning of a very big week for us with three games in the space of seven days.
Next up is another home game against Crawley Town tonight (Tuesday) and it’s going to be a tough game for us. Crawley are the only side to have scored in every league game so far this year so first port of call for us is to shut them out which obviously gives us a great chance of winning the game.
We are still unbeaten at home this season and our support has been brilliant so hopefully the fans can keep that going off the pitch while we try and do our jobs on the pitch too.
The week finishes with a trip to Colchester United on Saturday. They have one of the best sides on paper in the division so that will be an extremely difficult game. We don’t have a great record away to Colchester and it has always been a stadium where any team I have played for has struggled to get a result so hopefully we can change that.
We are coming to a crucial part of the season now where the league table starts to take shape and people start to take more notice of which position they are in. Supporters of clubs at the top end start to get a bit excited even though there is a long way to go still. But it is important that you put yourself into a position where teams fear playing you.
We will be a scalp for teams now and so far at times it has been tougher for us to break down teams because they do so much homework on us and they sit in and defend a little bit more.
We have had to grind out a few victories this season but three points are three points and we haven’t let anything distract us so far. As a team we are learning a lot and we are on the right track.