Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft congratulates fellow League Two side Newport County for FA Cup heroics over Middlesbrough

Mansfield Town Manager David Flitcroft
Mansfield Town Manager David Flitcroft

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft sent his hearty congratulations out to Saturday’s opponents Newport County for their FA Cup success against Middlesbrough in midweek.

But he admitted it was hard to know if the win will have lifted an Exiles side who have slipped in the league during their FA Cup heroics, or taken a lot out of them.

“As a football fan I think it’s brilliant for the FA Cup,” said Flitcroft.

“I am an FA Cup fan and I think it transcends generations. When you see a League Two club perform at that level, I was absolutely buzzing. It is everything that English football is all about.

“As a League Two manager and League Two team I must commend Newport and Mike Flynn. You can’t underestimate the job he’s done there. He has a limited budget but keeps getting the best out of that bunch of players.

“The Cup run they have been on, the TV money, all the prize money for getting through and a tie with Manchester City - the benefit of all that to the club is huge.

“To pit your wits against a top Championship team and two Premier League teams and come out the other side of that, I think it is a phenomenal job he and the players have done. Your hat goes off to them – it’s incredible.

“They have given the town and the fans the opportunity to take part in a visit by Manchester City.”

He added: “It’s a good profile for League Two to show the giants can be slain.

“Maybe some of the Premier league sides don’t make the FA Cup important. But I understand the importance of the English pyramid and the FA Cup.

“The stories keep it alive and the legacies are passed down to the next generation.

“You can’t underestimate what sides like Newport do for the competition.”

It remains to be seen what the midweek tie will have done to the Newport players on what is again likely to be a heavy pitch at Rodney Parade.

Flitcroft said: “The win over Middlesbrough will give them a bounce – they will have been buzzing all week. They could have momentum – but they may also be tired.

“When you are on that sort of wave you have the momentum to bounce into games. It may have physically and emotionally took its toll.

“The pitch is heavy down there. It’s not in a great state. So will that have had an effect? We won’t know until we get there.

“We don’t know the mental or physical state of Newport.”

However, he added: “But I know the mental and physical state of our team and I know our strengths and weaknesses. We certainly have an ambition to go down there and give a fantastic account of ourselves.

“That’s what we are preparing to do this week. I expect our team to be fresh and go down there with an excitement and really compete.

“You have to compete down there as they make it ugly. The ball is coming at you from every angle and long throw. But you have to go and enjoy and embrace it.”