Rovers look for their first win of the month as they travel to South Wales for their next test in Sky Bet League Two.

Today Ferguson confirmed that when Mandeville came on as a substitute against Morecambe last Saturday that he sustained an injury to his ankle, which will unfortunately keep the 19-year-old out for 2 to 3 weeks.

Captain, James Coppinger, is another player to have picked up a ‘knock’ and is expected to be rotated in and out of the squad, because it could be easily inflicted, and cause more problems for Coppinger. So personally, I think that he’ll be rested for Newport and saved for what will be considerably the ‘tougher’ games against the likes of Carlisle and Luton, who come after the Newport game in quick succession. Will Longbottom still remains injured, and won’t feature.

On more of a lighter note: Alfie May has resumed training this week, so he could potentially return to the bench as cover. Especially considering that we’ve not got Mandeville on the bench as backup – he could come in useful!

Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Gary McSheffrey continue their preparation for a hopeful return by the end of this month, because they’ve started to begin training on the grass today.

Tommy Rowe has also said in a pre-match press conference that Rovers will need to “concentrate” more at Newport and be more “intelligent” on the ball, as the conditions at Newport’s ground are going to be testing.

Head-to-head

Newport have the joint worst home record so far this season, as they’ve only picked up 10 points from 13 games at home.

It’s a case of top v bottom as Newport sit rock-bottom of league two on 23 points – three points from safety. Whereas, Rovers sit five points clear at the top of league two going into this game.

Players to watch

Swansea City loanee midfielder, Josh Sheehan, is Newport’s player to watch this Friday night, as he’s managed to score a total of 7 goals this season for Newport, leaving him as their top goal scorer for Newport.

However, he’s only scored five in the league, which is same as the Exile’s striker, Sean Rigg, who has also scored 5 in the league too for Newport.

Previous encounters

Last time we faced Newport was in September 2016, when Warren Feeney was in charge, and we beat Newport 2-0 at the Keepmoat with goals from: James Coppinger and Andy Williams.

Last time we played Newport away it ended in a 1-0 defeat, but that was in 1987, so lets hope things have changed!

Overall, Rovers have: won 15, drawn 10 and lost 18 against Newport since 1958.

Predicted lineup v Newport

Lawlor; Alcock, Butler, Baudry, Mason; Houghton, Blair, Grant, Rowe; Marquis and Williams.

 

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