THE Newport County AFC players will be fighting fit for Saturday’s League Two battle with Carlisle United after testing their skills in the boxing ring this week.

The County squad enjoyed a session at Mo's Boxing and Fitness Academy in Newport on Tuesday as manager Michael Flynn looked to mix up the training schedule ahead of the busy Christmas fixture list.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up and we have to look after them and be careful how much work they do on their legs,” explained Flynn.

“We decided to go down there and get a good workout, in terms of calories burned and energy used up, without putting the pressure on their legs as much.

“Hopefully we come out fighting on Saturday.”

The Exiles boss added: “This month is a big month and we’ll change things again come the Christmas period.

“When the games are every few days you just play and then wrap them up in cotton wool and hopefully there’s no injuries.

“We need a fully fit squad and then we can get through to January and freshen it up.”

Mark O’Brien enjoyed the experience at the gym run by Newport Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mo Nasir.

“It was great,” said the centre-back. “We did a couple of session like that last year and once you start learning the techniques you don’t just go in there and try to hit everything as hard as you can.

“It’s a change of scenery and a different type of fitness and it keeps everyone motivated and switched on. It’s really enjoyable.

“For us to mix it up coming up to Christmas is good because you keep everyone’s mind on the job.”

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There are no prizes for guessing the most fearsome boxer in the squad.

“David Pipe is probably the best because he goes in and does his own sessions,” said O’Brien.

“Frank [Nouble] was trying to take everyone’s arms off when he was punching the pads.

“He swings very wild and I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of them. I’m glad he’s on my team.”

Flynn has some selection dilemmas ahead of Saturday's match with most of his squad fighting fit.

Defender Calaum Jahraldo-Martin and striker Marlon Jackson are both ruled out with hamstring injuries but otherwise Flynn has a full squad to pick from.

“Caluam and Marlon are still out but Scot Bennett is back in training,” said the manager.

“Whether Scot is fit or not for Saturday I’m not sure but it gives us competition for places and some tough decisions.

“That’s what I want and, as much as it sounds horrible, I want to be telling players that they’re not in the squad because others deserve it more.

“As horrible as that is, you know you’re doing something right if you’re leaving good players out.

“They’re all pushing for starting places at the moment.”