NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn declared himself “shell-shocked” after watching his side slump to a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Cambridge United.

County, who made the Leasing.com semi-finals in midweek and were unfortunate to lose 1-0 at Plymouth Argyle last Saturday, were well below their recent standards at Rodney Parade.

And Flynn admitted that he was shocked at how poorly his players performed as they went down to Liam O’Neil’s 68th-minute winner.

“I didn’t see that performance coming,” said the Exiles boss. “You can play well and lose to a counter, but we were way off it today.

“The performance was nowhere near what we expect, what we worked on, and the nowhere near the levels that the players have been at lately.

“I’m a little bit shell-shocked at what I’ve just seen. We were very poor.”

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Flynn felt Cambridge were not much better than his side on a difficult playing surface.

“Let’s be honest, it was two poor teams,” he said.

“I couldn’t see anything other than a 0-0 because the game was that bad.

“They had a game plan and I told the players at half-time ‘they’ve come for a draw and the only way they’re going to score is something poor from us’ and we went and gave it to them.

“It was exactly how I said it would be at half-time.

“We huffed and puffed at the other end but when you don’t score, like us, you need the first goal.”

County, who lost Josh Sheehan to injury in the first half, dropped down to 13th position in the table after their third home defeat of the League Two season.

“We got booed off, and rightly so,” said the manager.

“I can’t put my finger on what went wrong. There are loads of excuses but I’m not going to [use them].

“I didn’t see that performance coming.”

Read more: Newport County 0 Cambridge United 1 - match report from Rodney Parade