FORGET the play-offs, Mickey Demetriou says Newport County AFC are setting their sights on sealing automatic promotion with a top-three finish in League Two this season.

Manager Michael Flynn has challenged his players to break into the top seven before next Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

County are currently 10th in the table, two points below seventh, and they know that a win over Crawley at Rodney Parade tonight will see them climb to fifth ahead of tomorrow’s matches.

County have another home clash with struggling Morecambe on Tuesday night and Demetriou believes they should be targeting third place.

“Third is definitely achievable,” said the defender. “We’re only four points off it so if we go and take six points from these next two games then the gap is only going to get smaller.

“We just need to put a little run together. I think that’s the most important thing now.

“We tend to get wins and then we don’t follow them up.

“So we need to put a little mini run together – a couple of wins here and there – and we can close that gap.

“We need to be aiming high. If we aim for the top-three and fall into the play-offs then happy days.”

Demetriou won promotion from League Two with Shrewsbury Town in 2015 and he sees similarities with the current Exiles squad.

“We definitely have what it takes,” said the 27-year-old. “It’s a similar group and the team spirit is the same as what we had at Shrewsbury.

“We’re all here to do the same job – to get promoted to League One. Hopefully we can do that as a group.

“It would be nice to win the league but I know Luton and Notts County are flying at the moment so it might be a bit of an ask for us to catch them.

“But we’re only four points off third so who knows?”

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Demetriou scored a spectacular winner the last time Crawley came to Newport in April.

And he scored both goals as County won at the Checkatrade Stadium (above) in September but Harry Kewell’s men are in good form, winning their past three matches to climb to 14th.

“They’re in good form but so are we,” he said.

“It was a tough game down there. I scored a couple of goals and hopefully I can do the same again but I’d rather take a clean sheet and let someone else get the goals.”

A crowd of 6,000 is expected for tonight’s clash with fans snapping up tickets in the hope of getting their hands on a Spurs cup ticket.

Flynn believes the club is ready for a real promotion push.

“I have to make sure we’d be ready as a club and I think we would be,” said the boss.

“We’d need improvements everywhere, not just off the field but on the field as well.

“We’ll need a better squad going into a higher league.

“We’d need a better everything and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready because at the minute it’s not looking impossible.”