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Michael Flynn brings his Newport County side to Gillingham in the EFL Cup

By Luke Cawdell

The return to Priestfield of Michael Flynn won’t be a distraction to the current Gills team, insists assistant boss Paul Raynor.

Flynn has done wonders as manager of Newport County, saving them from relegation and taking them to the League 2 play-off final last season, where they were narrowly beaten by Tranmere Rovers.

Newport take on Gillingham in the first round of the EFL Cup tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

Michael Flynn will return to Priestfield on Tuesday night as manager of Newport County
Michael Flynn will return to Priestfield on Tuesday night as manager of Newport County

Gillingham fans will remember Flynn fondly as a player. He played 97 league games for the club and scored 19 goals between 2005 and 2007.

Raynor said: “I am sure he will be welcomed back as he should be, but our focus won’t be on him, it will be on winning a football match.

“We just have to set our team up to come and win a football match, that is what it is all about. Flynny has done a fantastic job at Newport, he is an ambitious young man, a good young coach and he is doing an incredibly good job.”

While Flynn would get a good reception from Gills fans - he might not even make the game.

He's told fans of the south Wales club not to travel and may be scouting a League 2 match instead.

He told the South Wales Argus: "I might go and watch Pymouth against Leyton Orient.

"I'm not taking it (the competition) seriously. There's no competition money in there and I've got to concentrate on what's important."

The Gills will be keen to put some wrongs right after a weekend performance that was described by Raynor as unacceptable.

“We need to go and win the next football match,” he said, following a 2-1 home loss to Burton in League 1.

“It will be tough. Newport County are a very aggressive, forward-thinking team and they put you under pressure.

“We have to bounce back. It is about winning that next football match and putting a team out there that works harder than they did on Saturday, keeps the ball better and creates more problems for the opposition

“People will get opportunities, I am sure. I am sure guys will be chomping at the bit to be in that team on Tuesday night. If they are not then they should be because that was an unacceptable performance from the guys who went out on the pitch and they need to put that right if they get an opportunity, or they will have to work incredibly hard in training to get another opportunity.

“The guys who come into the team are going to have to make an impact and try and stay in there.

“I am sure there will be changes, let’s hope there is a change in the quality of performance.”

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