Palmer confident of turnaround at Newport City

Newport City player-assistant boss Dean Palmer believes last weekend’s win over Abergavenny Town shows his side have what it takes to pull themselves away from the bottom of the Welsh League Division Two.

A brace from Callum Smith proved enough to hand City a 2-1 win, halting a run of three straight defeats and securing only a third positive result of the season.

City travel to AFC Llwydcoed this weekend knowing that a win could potentially leave them level on points with fellow strugglers West End at the bottom of the table.

But Palmer, who arrived along with two other coaches as part of a significant upheaval in the club’s backroom team, is under no illusions about how much work is left to be done in order to salvage a campaign overshadowed by a points deduction, poor results, and turmoil behind the scenes.

He told Clwb Pel Droed: “The gaffer [Sam Houldsworth] and chairman were so honest about the mess the club’s been in ever since they got me involved.

“But I soon realised there was a lot of drive not only from management but also the players to turn it around.

“A lot of players have been brought in and a lot have left since I’ve come in so we have been very busy bringing in the players we want to turn our season around.

“The players we have brought in have not come in to make up the numbers, they have come in to play. Bringing in the likes of Sam Graves (ex Pontypridd captain), Jordan Chubb from Caerau Ely and even bringing myself back in to play gives us a lot of experience at this level.

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“There’s not many sides at the bottom of the league who have the numbers at training we do and have put in the amount of work we have been over the last two or three months.”

Last Saturday’s win suggests the hard work may well be beginning to pay off for City, while also giving Palmer an unlikely chance to extend a playing career that previously saw him part of Monmouth Town’s Division title-winning squad in 2014, along with stints at Aberystwyth Town and Pontypridd Town.

He added: “I didn’t want to be playing this year and wanted to concentrate on getting my badges done and being Sam’s assistant, but after the win on Saturday it gives you the feeling you can’t explain. It’s why you come back as a player.”

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