Newport boss Michael Flynn is desperate to use the battling 1-0 win at Walsall as a catalyst for his side’s promotion push.
The Exiles had won just one of their last 12 games heading to the Bescot, but victory propelled them back into the play-off spots.
Unlikely hero Joss Labadie popped up with his first league goal for 13 months to secure a welcome win – despite Saddlers goalkeeper Liam Roberts’ best efforts.
“We haven’t been on a great run and I’m not here to hide,” admitted Flynn. “It’s been tough and frustrating but we all keep believing, working hard and that’s the only way you get out of it.
“They’re a great bunch, they don’t get too carried away, it hurts them when they lose but we’re onto Saturday now.
“We’ve got to get ourselves up for it at Rodney Parade, which is quite ironic that it’s usually our safe place.
“It is a funny season, a strange season, we’ve seen the results last night. Teams will come into form, teams have lost form so the gap is tighter the whole way around the league, even the bottom clubs are winning now.
“Let’s just hope we finish the season how we started it, because if we do we’ll be up.
“I thought we were really good, we still weren’t quite as sharp as I wanted in the final third as a team but some of the football we played was superb.”
The Saddlers have been hit hard by manager Darrell Clarke jumping ship to Port Vale.
And Brian Dutton is still searching for his first win since taking the reigns at the club.
This frustrating defeat extended their winless home run to six games.
And Dutton reflected: “Newport are a top team, they may not have been showing it of late for whatever reason but they’ve got a really experienced manager there and some really experienced players who showed their quality tonight.
“It was a mixed bag for me, I thought Newport edged the first half but we were threatening as well with our shape, but the wind was playing a part tonight and I thought we suffered a little bit because of that. The good the bad and the ugly tonight.
“In the second half we were able to get in their faces and keep them penned in which worked without creating as many opportunities as we wish, but we were able to get more territory and more possession.
“There’s a lot of players in there playing their third or fourth game on the bounce and it was difficult for them to show their quality, but the good stuff was not just punting it forward but finding passes under pressure and play our way up the pitch, but that’s meaningless unless we’re creating goalscoring opportunities.”
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