NEWPORT are having it tough as they try to pick themselves up from missing out on a Wembley trip.

Penalty misses from Tristan Abrahams and Ryan Inniss in Wednesday’s shoot-out against Salford killed their hopes of reaching the Trophy final.

That would have boosted morale for Michael Flynn’s side after a poor run of league form.

Last year’s beaten play-off finalists still have games in hand on the top seven – but have a lot of ground to make up.

But Flynn is grateful to the Newport board for their understanding of the difficult circumstances he is facing.

He said: “They’re good as gold. I speak to them regularly, as I always have, even when we’ve been flying and doing well.

“A few of them come down to the training ground and they see the improvements that have been made off the pitch as well. They are a good bunch.

“We’re 16th now but if we beat Bradford, we’re up to 13th and then we’ve got three games in hand.

“I had a look at our season review this time last year and it’s near enough identical.

“We’re three points worse off but I think we’ve played a game or two less – and we’ve got a better goal difference.

“Look at Cambridge, they’ve just won four on the bounce. They didn’t do anything at our place but got the win.

“You can say they didn’t do this or that but ultimately they got the three points they came for. If you play a team off the park and batter them but lose 1-0, then who’s the happiest?”

Newport’s season has been hit hard by injuries – and not just minor ones. Flynn admits it has been “crazy”.

“Our centre back went for a shot and did his medial ligament, the other one fractured his skull, another centre back fell and broke his leg and the right back we got in January was tackled from behind and his groin ripped off the bone.”