NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn believes his side are entering a crucial part of the season that will go a long way to determining whether they challenge for a place in the League Two play-offs again.

County are currently 12th in the table, nine points off the top seven with 18 games left to play.

But they are only 10 points behind sixth-placed Colchester United with three games in hand and Flynn is convinced that they can still make the play-offs.

“We’ve been in fairly good form recently and the play-offs is still a possibility, if we can go on a run,” said the Exiles boss ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with 16th-placed Cambridge United.

“We need to win a couple back-to-back and if you can then make that three or four it’ll close the gap and put us in a really good position.

“But it’s all ifs and buts. I do believe we can do that. It’s about doing it on the pitch.

“There’s only 11 weeks of the season left and it’s all coming down to the last two-and-a-half months.

“We started the season well, we’ve had our blip and now we’ve got to finish well and we’ll see where we are.”

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Belief within the County camp stems from the extraordinary run that they produced at the end of last season.

Defeat at Northampton Town on March 12 (above) left Flynn’s men 13th in the table, eight points below seventh with a game in hand.

They finished the campaign with a 10-game unbeaten run, with six wins and four draws enough to seal to seal seventh spot on the final day.

“We started the run in March last season,” said Flynn. “We’ve got a little bit more time now but the next few weeks are going to be crucial.”

Ryan Inniss should be fit to return against Cambridge after missing the last three matches with a calf injury but fellow centre-back Mark O’Brien is still out with a knee problem and full-backs Ryan Haynes and Ashley Baker are doubtful after being forced off at Plymouth Argyle last weekend.

“There are going to be one or two missing out,” said Flynn. “We did have a clean bill of health before a couple more went down.

“But that’s the beauty of having a bigger squad and a better squad.

“I think that’s been proven by the fact that we’ve made a lot of changes in certain games and we’ve come away with positive results.

“I made six changes on Tuesday [for the 1-0 Leasing.com Trophy win over Leicester City under-21s], which we had to, but we put in a good performance and came out with a good result.

“If we’d made more than three or four changes last season, I think we would have weakened the team. That shows we’ve got a better squad."

Deadline day loan signing Otis Khan is set to make his debut tomorrow and Flynn is excited by the Mansfield midfielder's arrival.

“He brings us quality in the final third,” said the manager.

“He’s a match-winner, he’s a good finisher, he’s direct and he comes with a point to prove because he thinks he should be playing at Mansfield.

“When he played against us up there [in August 2018], he scored two and he ripped us apart.

“He’s somebody I’ve always liked and I was surprised we were able to get him, if I’m honest. I’m hoping their loss is our gain.”

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