Season 4 – Newport County, League 2
Media Prediction: 8th
Board Expectations: Play Offs
During the pre-season we had a big turnover of players with 11 leaving and 14 coming in. I felt we were stronger and better prepared for the future with a younger squad with decent quality. So this proved as we played brilliantly all season, losing just 5 league games on our way to the title and a record points total of 103.
We also had great runs in both the League Cup and FA Cup, where we got to the 4th round and 5th round respectively to boost the coffers.
During the season I saw that the Aston Villa job came up so I applied. Of course I wasn’t even interviewed as they are a Championship club and I’ve not managed higher than League Two yet.
A couple of weeks later and another of my favoured clubs, Shrewsbury, sacked their manager. I was also over-looked for this job, so will be staying for Newport for a while longer.
When the season finished I was approached for an interview by League One Fleetwood, but they ultimately didn’t take me on.
I then asked the board if I could take the Continental A Licence, which they agreed to.
League Record: P:46 | W:31 | D:10 | L:5 | F:87 | A:38 | Pts:103
League Position: 1st
FA Cup: 5th Round (Aston Villa)
League Cup: 4th Round (Wolves)
EFL Trophy: 3rd Round (Chelsea U23s)
Season 5 – Newport County, League One
Media Prediction: 19th
Board Expectations: Avoid Relegation
In pre-season I went on a mission to improve the quality and depth of the squad with 15 players coming in, including 5 loanees.
Only 6 players left so we had a decent sized squad, and despite having 6 centre backs already the director of football kept trying to bring in more. Sheesh.
Anyway, we got off to a tough start, and I thought this was going to be the theme of the season. It must have been the new players settling in though, as we went on a great run that actually saw us top the table with 9 games left in the season.
Sadly this is where it all went wrong, as we fell off a cliff and stumbled to a 3rd place finish on goal difference. We were hammered 4-1 in the play off semi-finals by Coventry, and so a season of much promise ultimately fell just short.
During the early part of the season I was interviewed by a number of clubs, however none of them decided to approach me off the back of them.
The clubs involved were Peterborough, Ipswich, Charlton and Coventry of League One, with Blackburn and Millwall of the Championship also speaking to me.
After I signed a new 3 year contract at Newport in December, the interest cooled, I guess due to compensation or something.
I also completed the Continental A Licence in April, so I think I only have one more badge to get now.
League Record: P:46 | W:23 | D:14 | L:9 | F:68 | A:42 | Pts:83
League Position: 3rd
FA Cup: 3rd Round (Preston)
League Cup: 2nd Round (Luton)
EFL Trophy: Semi Final (Portsmouth)