NEWPORT County AFC have a "free hit" in tomorrow's Carabao Cup third round match against Championship side Watford, boss Michael Flynn has said.

County will look for another giant killing tomorrow evening when the Hornets visit Rodney Parade, and Flynn said his side wouldn't rest on their laurels following their win over Swansea City at the beginning of September.

"We're going to take confidence from it, but we take each individual game," he said. "We can't just say that we've done well against Swansea, so we're going to do well against Watford.

"Watford are going to be a different team. They're going to be fitter than when Swansea came here – I know we are as well – but they're going to be sharper [and] they've got a lot of players they can rotate.

"It does give you confidence, but that's just a small part of what we need to do."

Tomorrow's Watford tie is the reward for Flynn's men who capped the 2-0 first-round victory over the Swans with a 1-0 win over Cambridge United last Tuesday in the second round.

Watford were relegated from the Premier League in July, finishing second-bottom after a frustrating season in which they lost 20 times.

But among the side's eight victories was a famous 3-0 win over Liverpool, ending the eventual champions' chances of an unbeaten Premier League season.

Under new manager Vladimir Ivic, the Hornets are unbeaten in the Championship this season, recording a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough and a goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday.

The side was made to toil against Oxford United in the second round of the Carabao Cup, however, winning on penalties after an 89th-minute equaliser spared the Hornets' blushes.

County come into tomorrow's match on good form, fresh from Saturday's win at home to Barrow.

In team news, Flynn said he was waiting on injury reports for Kyle Howkins and Liam Shephard.

Despite being "quite confident" Shephard would overcome an ankle knock picked up during Saturday's league win over Barrow, Flynn said it was less clear whether Howkins would play a part against Watford, with the defender expected to be assessed tomorrow.

A win tomorrow would see County host in the fourth round the winners of Morecambe v Newcastle United, who play on Wednesday – and after cup clashes against high-profile opposition in recent years, Flynn was hopeful County could secure another encounter with a top-flight side.

"There's a bit of a carrot in the next round," Flynn said. "If it was Newcastle, you'd like to think it would be on TV, but there's nothing we can do about that – it's all ifs and buts.

"I remember when we had replay against Middlesbrough [in last year's FA Cup fourth round] and we knew Manchester City were in the next round. It worked for us that time, and hopefully it can happen again, because it'll be some much-needed funds for the football club."

Flynn reiterated his desire for fans to return to Rodney Parade, with the coronavirus restrictions continuing to keep the terraces empty.

"You just think of the Swansea game, and the place would have been rocking," he said. "For me, the atmosphere that the fans create is priceless.

"The quicker they're back, the better."