ARGYLE manager Ryan Lowe has a lot of respect for Newport manager Mike Flynn, but insists it will mean nothing when the two up and coming coaches lock horns during today’s Sky Bet League Two encounter at Rodney Parade.
“He’s a fantastic young manager,” said Lowe. “We’ll be mates before and mates after, but during the 90 minutes we’ll probably have a growl and a snarl at some point.
“He is probably destined to go on to bigger things. He’s one of the good lads who is in it for the right reasons and we know Newport are going to be a tough task to get around.”
The Pilgrims’ manager is expecting a tough challenge when his side travel to South Wales on the weekend, coming up against an Exiles side that missed out on promotion last season by the finest of margins – falling in extra time in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final. Lowe was pitch-side for that game, working as a pundit for Sky television.
“I’ve got admiration for him [Flynn], he just missed out in the play-off final last year and I was gutted for him,” said Lowe. “He recruits very well; he lost a few good players, but he’s recruited a few good ones and keeps digging in there with his budget and his facilities.”
Last season, County defeated Premier League side Leicester City, with a goal coming from former Pilgrim Jamille Matt, en-route to the FA Cup fifth round. A victory over Championship side Middlesbrough took them to a lucrative tie against English champions Manchester City, who eventually saw the Welshmen off with an entertaining 4-1 win.
The unique environment at Rodney Parade, which is shared with professional rugby outfit Newport Gwent Dragons, always makes for challenging conditions for the visitors. By playing in August, though, the Pilgrims will probably see the best of the pitch, as the rugby season is yet to begin.
“There will probably be a bit more grass on it than there would be at the end of the season – but it’s what we do that matters,” said Ryan. “We go there with a bit of confidence and we’re looking forward to it.”
As with all of the Pilgrims’ opponents this season, Lowe and his team have diligently prepared for the task of facing Newport, and they feel they have a good idea of what to expect from Flynn’s side.
That said, the news breaking this week that former Manchester City and Swansea star Wilfried Bony has been training with the League Two side did raise a few eyebrows inside the walls of Home Park, as well as further afield.
Lowe joked: “He’s thrown a spanner in the works there, hasn’t he? I’ll give him a bit of stick over that when I see him on Saturday.
“’Flynny’ is the type of guy whose helping him out, bringing him in to training day-in-day-out. It’s probably the type of stuff he’d have got in the Premier League or the Championship, just some different tactics, maybe. I’m pleased he’s not playing!”