Rowberry: New-look frontline means County are no longer one-dimensional

·3-min read
LIVELY: Offrande Zanzala has started brightly at Newport County
LIVELY: Offrande Zanzala has started brightly at Newport County

NEWPORT County AFC have 'the ingredients' to be a dual-threat in attack thanks to their new-look front line, believes manager James Rowberry.

The Exiles had to move in the transfer market this summer after the loss of golden boot winner Dom Telford and his strike partner Courtney Baker-Richardson, who moved to League Two rivals Crawley and Crewe respectively.

Targetman Alex Fisher was also released and loanees Rob Street and Timmy Abraham left, with Lewis Collins the solitary forward left on the books.

County brought in Omar Bogle and Offrande Zanzala on permanent deals plus Chanka Zimba on a season-long loan from Cardiff.

Bogle scored on opening day at Sutton with a powerful header, Collins and Zimba struck in the Carabao Cup win at Luton and Zanzala has been a menace with his pace and elusive running, while he was also denied by a stunning save after coming off the bench at Kenilworth Road.

The Exiles fired a blank against Walsall last weekend despite creating a host of chances but Rowberry is encouraged by what he has seen.

South Wales Argus: BOOST: Chanka Zimba and Lewis Collins both scored at Luton
South Wales Argus: BOOST: Chanka Zimba and Lewis Collins both scored at Luton

BOOST: Chanka Zimba and Lewis Collins both scored at Luton

"We are starting to get the ingredients that we wanted to work with," said the manager.

"As a coach and manager you have to utilise the players at your disposal. Last year we had different players, we didn't have an Oz or an Omar.

"We have a type of centre forward who can run in behind, link play and score goals whereas last year we had three really good number 10s [loanees Finn Azaz and Ollie Cooper plus James Waite], so had to play through the lines.

"Now we have two really good number 10s in Aaron Wildig and James and four really good strikers.

"We can do both elements of the game and we recruited like we did to be able to have both dimensions, not just one.

"We wanted to be able to go in behind and penetrate or find players in pockets and turn to play forward.

"We have both elements I believe, now it's just trying to get the results we feel that we have deserved."

County struck three times at Luton to boost morale after a frustrating start to the league campaign.

"When we played Sutton we had 17 shots at goal, which doesn't happen at Sutton," said Rowberry. "Against Walsall we had 15 shots, albeit only two on target because of the amount of blocks.

"We have had a lot of shots in the league then at Luton we had eight shots and scored three, with the expected goals stat really high.

"If we keep following what we are trying to do and achieve I have no doubt that we will keep buiding and the results will follow."

"I have been pleased with our performances," he continued. "At Sutton we should have won the game and no doubt we should have won against Walsall - I have never lost to a team that hasn't had a shot on target.

"I have no doubt [that the wins will come], I trust this group and trust what we are doing. I am really, really pleased with how they are going about their business with their day to day work. I couldn't be prouder."