MICHAEL Flynn is confident that Newport County AFC will do it the hard way after being forced to go to the last day in their push for the League Two play-offs.

The Exiles need just a point at relegated Southend to secure a top-seven finish thanks to a 1-0 win against title-chasing Cheltenham.

With Salford losing, it looked as though Joss Labadie’s winner would be enough but then Exeter struck at the death in Bolton to remain within striking distance.

County climbed above Tranmere into fifth thanks to their superior goal difference.

Forest Green are two points back and Exeter are three behind, while Salford can no longer catch the Exiles.

Flynn needs his players to dig deep once more to ensure that they get the job done at Roots Hall and don’t need to look at scores from elsewhere.

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“We don't do anything the easy way here, nothing is given to us and we have to work hard for everything we get. We will continue to do that next week,” said the manager, who saw the Grecians had struck late as walking off the field.

“We've got a huge game next weekend and the one thing that I am very proud of these players for is that it's the most points the club has had since being back in the league. That in itself is a big achievement for the players.”

With a game to go, County's 72 points is one better than they managed when qualifying for the 2018/19 play-offs.

Their previous best since being promoted from the National League in 2013 was the 2015 tally of 65.

County’s spluttering form at the start of the year ended their hopes of pushing for automatic promotion but they are finishing strongly.

They have beaten Crawley, Scunthorpe and Cheltenham along with drawing at Exeter, when they had the better of the game at St James Park.

Beating the leaders puts the Exiles, who have fielded the same starting line-up in the last four fixtures, in great shape for the trip to Southend.

“It was a fantastic win against a very organised and good team,” said Flynn. “Cheltenham didn't stop because they wanted to clinch the title but it was an excellent performance for us.

“They are strong and have that long throw, which is a hell of a weapon. I thought that we dealt with that, mostly, alright.”