Nouble expects a ‘mixed bag’ of a reception at old club Newport County

Frank Nouble celebrates after Colchester United's 1-0 home victory over leageu leaders Lincoln City.

Frank Nouble celebrates after Colchester United's 1-0 home victory over leageu leaders Lincoln City. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Frank Nouble might be blessed with a mixed reception, when he returns to his former club Newport County in the colours of Colchester United tomorrow.

Sammie Szmodics congratulates team-mate Frank Nouble, right, after the latter had given the U's the

Sammie Szmodics congratulates team-mate Frank Nouble, right, after the latter had given the U's the lead in the 3-1 home win over Crawley Town last month. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

But the experienced 27-year-old front-runner is relishing a return to a club where he bagged 10 goals last season. In fact, he is expecting a bumper crowd for this clash of two top-six teams.

The U’s have bowed out of two Cup competitions over the last few days, suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat at League Two high-fliers Accrington Stanley in an FA Cup first round tie last weekend, and then losing 3-1 at Cambridge United in the EFL Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.

However, John McGreal’s men, with Nouble playing a major role, come into tomorrow’s League Two test at Rodney Parade on the back of successive 1-0 league wins, over Lincoln City and Swindon Town.

“It’s a new game for us to focus on, and we’d love to make it three league wins on the bounce,” insisted Nouble, following yesterday’s training session at Florence Park, Tiptree.

Nouble continued: “It’s a big game as well, because Newport, like ourselves, are going well in the league. It’s a chance to go second in the league, if we win, so that’s a big incentive.

“We need to perform well, and to try and bounce back from the two cup defeats, when we didn’t play to our full potential.

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“Accrington Stanley away was always going to be a tough draw, but if I had stuck away my early chance (one-on-one with keeper Connor Ripley) then it might have been a very different game.

“Now we have Newport, and in my eyes I don’t really mind how we play, as long as we win!

“I will always have only good things to say about Newport County.

“They have a great fan-base, and a great manager (Michael Flynn), and although they are not one of the bigger clubs in the League, they have been up near the top for the last couple of years,” added Nouble, who scored 10 goals in 52 league and cup appearances for the Welsh club last season.

It was expected that Nouble, who began his career as a youth teamer at Chelsea, would stay at Rodney Parade beyond the one season, but in the end he chose to move to Colchester United on a two-year contract, rather than sign a new deal with The Exiles.

“I’m looking forward to going back,” continued Nouble.

“I did stay at Newport for a whole year, which makes a change! Usually I have ended up going on loan to other clubs, for a month or so, hence why I have played for many clubs.

“I was lucky to lay down some roots at Newport, but now I’m at Colchester on a two-year deal and I don’t see myself moving, although I know that if I don’t continue to do well, then I will be asked to move on.

“For me, it would be the icing on the cake to win this weekend, and for us to finish above Newport in the league.

“The manager (McGreal) has shown a lot of faith in me, by playing me in every game, and I think that I have repaid that faith.

“We’ve got a number of injuries, and other players are carrying knocks, but we’ll be going there to get the win, whatever team we turn up with, even if we went down there with the youth team!”

The U’s are currently third in League Two, and just three points adrift of second-placed MK Dons, who entertain basement dwellers Macclesfield Town tomorrow.

Newport, meanwhile, have slipped a little to sixth spot, just two points behind the U’s, and so would leapfrog their Essex visitors if they were to win.

“I’m expecting a mixed bag of a reception,” admitted Nouble.

“I got offered a deal, and they then tried to offer me something else, but it wasn’t what I wanted, so I moved on. I’m sure anyone else would do the same thing, in their line or work.

“Newport had a very young team last season, a bit like the team at Colchester now, with only a couple of older players. so I had to take ownership as well.

“They were above us for a long time in the table, which I didn’t expect, although I knew that they would do well this season.

“I have a lot of good memories from my time there. The manager played me as a striker for the first month, and things went well, but he then chose to play me in a wider role, so that I could get on the ball more, which worked well for most of the season.

“I think we should be looking forward, not backwards. We are fighting to go second in the table, and whatever happens this weekend, we will still be in the top seven which is a good place to be at this stage of the season.”

Nouble has so far bagged four goals in 17 appearances, although all four of these goals have come at the Jobserve Community Stadium, so this weekend would be the perfect time to net his first away goal, against his old club and in a U’s win of course!