Newport manager Michael Flynn is hoping to add a promotion to his CV as he takes his side to Wembley for the League Two play-off final.
After taking the reins, initially as caretaker-boss just over two years ago, the 38-year-old masterminded a miraculous escape from relegation after the Welsh club had been 11 points adrift at the bottom.
That earned him the job on a permanent basis and in addition to finishing in seventh place this season, Newport have enjoyed a run to the fifth round of the FA Cup in successive campaigns, eventually losing to Tottenham and Manchester City respectively.
Flynn now wants to make the next step and that is elevation to League One.
“On a personal level, as a young manager, I’ve had some extraordinary experiences already,” he told a press conference.
“I’ve had a relegation battle, good FA Cup runs and now we’ve got the play-off final.
“The only thing missing so far is a promotion and let’s hope I get that on Saturday.
“I said it before the Tottenham game last season that leading County at Wembley was another box ticked so to do it again the following year goes to show how much we’ve improved.”
Only three members of the current squad have not played at Wembley before and Flynn believes that can help when it comes to facing Tranmere.
“We’ve got a very experienced team in regard to that but I’m sure a lot of the Tranmere players have been there as well,” he said.
“It can help in the build-up with the pre-match nerves but it’s whoever handles the occasion best when kick-off happens.
“Once you get on that pitch the players have to stand up and be counted.”
County have not lost in their four meetings against Tranmere (one win, three draws) but Flynn is wary of the threat the Wirral side pose with 32-goal League Two player of the year James Norwood leading the line.
“James Norwood is a big threat. But he’s got to get the ammunition first from players like Connor Jennings, who’s very dangerous. Jake Caprice coming down the right as well,” said Flynn, whose side have been training at the Cardiff City Stadium in the build-up and will train at Brentford when they reach the capital.
“Trying to stop it at source is the easiest way. Prevention is better than cure.
“But you don’t score 32 goals without being a good finisher.
“He’s just one of their threats but I’m confident that whoever plays up front for us will be just as good or even better than that.
“The players deserve all the plaudits and the credit because they’re the ones who go and do the business on the Saturday.
“We can prepare them as well as we can, but ultimately, when they cross that white line they have to stand up and make their own decisions as well. It’s not just a game of intelligence, patterns of play and philosophies, they’ve got to be able to handle the occasion as well.
“There will be no stone left unturned. We’ll be as prepared as we can be, this week has gone well so far, and we’ll have them ready in peak condition for Saturday.”
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