Whisper it quietly in South Wales but it looks as if Newport County are getting their act together in League Two.
Justin Edinburgh’s side have suffered just one defeat in their last 16 league games dating back to mid-August and look a decent value bet for promotion.
So, where has it all gone right for the team currently occupying seventh-place in the fourth tier?
Consistency is key
Newport have enjoyed patches of very decent form over the past 18 months.
The trouble is, they’ve also suffered periods where they’ve also delivered quite spectacularly indifferent results.
A long, hard winter saw County looking nervously over their shoulders during the second-half of last season.
But if you fancy the men in amber and black to maintain their current upward curve and avoid another January-March blowout then the 11/8 on Newport to finish in the top-seven looks a steal.
The return of Aaron O’Connor
Former Luton and Rushden and Diamonds forward Aaron O’Connor endured a frustrating campaign in his side’s first season back in the Football League but the lively 31-year-old finally looks as if he’s turned the corner.
A niggling groin injury limited the Newport hitman to just four appearances in 2013-2014.
However, a hat-trick in the Welsh club’s recent 3-1 win away at Bury signals that O’Connor is returning to the sort of form that yielded 19 goals in all competitions two seasons ago and that will be crucial to Newport’s promotion chances.
No one likes a trip to Rodney Parade
Situated on the east bank of the River Usk, on first inspection Rodney Parade is a fairly quaint small ground.
But to Newport fans the venue is becoming something of a fortress with the home side unbeaten on their own turf since the opening day of the season in a run that stretches back eight games.
Of course, the same was being said in the previous campaign before a run of postponements and subsequent fixture congestion – not to mention the use of the playing surface by the rugby club – turned the pitch into a quagmire and results bottomed out.
But a little more luck this time round could go a long way in helping Newport secure a second promotion in three seasons.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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