NEWPORT County AFC captain Joss Labadie says manager Michael Flynn’s decision to stay at Rodney Parade means everything to the club, and to him personally.

County confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that they had given Flynn permission to speak to League One Lincoln City about their vacant managerial post and that the Exiles boss had subsequently committed his future to his hometown club.

After the 1-1 draw at Macclesfield Town on Tuesday night, Flynn explained: “There was an approach over the weekend, the club gave me permission to speak to them, I spoke to them, and I made the decision that I think I’ve got a job to do here and that was that.”

He had informed the players of his decision on Monday and Labadie said the news was welcomed by the squad.

“It means everything to the club,” said the skipper. “All the boys are chuffed to bits.

“I’ve played some of the best football of my career under him and I’m over the moon that he’s staying.

“It’s a real statement of intent for this football club and we’ve just got to kick on now and forget everything that’s come out in the press.

“I’m not sure I’m allowed to say what he told us exactly, but he just said ‘don’t get distracted and get on with the job in hand’ – don’t lose focus, basically.

“We’ve just got to regroup and get back to winning ways, starting on Saturday [at home against League Two leaders Exeter City] and try to kick on up the league and get where we belong.

“We’ve got unfinished business,” he added, referring to last season’s play-off final defeat to Tranmere Rovers at Wembley.

“We want to go one step further than last year and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that.

“I think all the players are his players that he’s brought in. He’s assembled a really good team that can challenge for this league and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.”

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Labadie is not surprised that rival clubs are looking at Flynn, however, and he admits that the manager will move on at some point.

“I think it’s inevitable,” he said. “If he keeps doing well, I’m sure that other clubs will be sniffing around. That’s the industry we’re in – if you’re doing well, you will progress up the leagues and that’s what will happen.

“It’s testament to the job he’s done here. He’s done amazingly well and all the credit he gets, he fully deserves.

“He’s infectious. The boys come in every day loving their job. He doesn’t over-complicate things and he’s only recently retired so he knows what it’s about to be a player, which is a bonus.

“The move obviously wasn’t right for him at this stage of his career and I’m very happy that he’s staying.”

Labadie says the players are now looking forward to welcoming table-topping Exeter to Rodney Parade on Saturday.

“The boys can’t wait to be put to the test and take on the challenge of facing the league leaders,” he said. “We’ve made Rodney Parade a bit of a fortress and hopefully we can get back to winning ways.”

Read more: Michael Flynn explains why he's staying with Newport County