NEWPORT County AFC boss Mike Flynn is confident that midfielder Ben Tozer will be fit and firing for their League Two opener after undergoing a summer knee operation.

The 27-year-old made 31 appearances for the Exiles last season after a summer move from Yeovil.

His last game came in the 3-1 loss at Stevenage on January 7 after falling out of favour with former boss Graham Westley and he went under the knife because of a knee problem.

Tozer did not feature in the 4-3 win at Swindon Supermarine on Saturday and has not yet been able to take a full part in pre-season training.

However, Flynn said the experienced midfielder is ready to step up his preparations for the coming campaign and expects him to be available for the season opener against Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium next month.

"He's had a knee operation and is coming towards the end of his rehab now so will start up with his fitness, running and participation in the football in the next week to 10 days," said the manager.

"He will be like a new signing for us and we will see how he is when he has fully recovered. He should be fit for the start of the season, whether he is match-ready is another story, but he should be fit for selection come August 5."

Goalkeeper Joe Day and defender Scot Bennett also sat out the Exiles' clash in Swindon due to tightness after Flynn put the squad through their paces last week.

"To be honest the boys won't have a harder week than they had, we really worked them hard so to come through without any injuries was good," he said after the victory at the Webbswood Stadium.

A handful of trialists were given a chance to shine in Swindon while the majority of Flynn's first-teamers got at least 45 minutes and academy prospect Jay Foulston played the full game.

"It took a little while for him to get into it because he hasn't trained with us but he didn't look out of place and it was a good experience for him," said Flynn.

However, the manager is looking for his senior players to tighten up after shipping three goals to opposition from Southern Football League Division One South and West.

"It's not about the result but I wasn't happy with some of the defending and the goals that we gave away," he said.

"I want to touch on that now because I don't want to sweep it under the carpet and let it creep in at the start of the season. I told the players, I didn't go mad or anything.

"I thought we created some really good attacking opportunities and I felt the new boys settled in really well.

"We played two different teams and played some really good stuff at times, but some of the defending was kamikaze."

County travel to Chippenham tomorrow (TUES) and head to Merthyr on Wednesday.