BOSS Michael Flynn wants to send Newport County AFC fans home happy when they get back to Rodney Parade on Tuesday – and earn more supporters a trip to Wembley.

The Exiles will be roared on by a small crowd in the first leg of their League Two play-off against Forest Green Rovers next Tuesday (kick-off 8.15pm).

The fixture has been chosen by the Welsh Government as a pilot event for the safe return of fans, with the permitted attendance yet to be confirmed.

“It’s what we have all wanted for a long time now. The important thing is that the coronavirus levels have gone right down and it’s another step towards normality,” said manager Flynn.

“Fans are everything to this club and it will be great to see them in the stands, even if it is in reduced numbers.

“It’s almost a chance for us to say thank you because a lot of them knew that they probably wouldn’t be getting to see many games this season and still parted with their hard-earned money to support the club. For me personally, that sort of backing never goes unnoticed.”

County finished fifth in League Two after playing their entire campaign without backing, while they also missed out on bumper crowds in cup games against Swansea, Watford, Newcastle and Brighton.

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The Exiles did play one fixture in front of punters when beaten at Leyton Orient but Flynn is hopeful that the presence of a small Amber Army could give them the edge in the first leg.

“It will give us a boost and I know they will get right behind us, hopefully we will put in a good performance to send them home happy,” he said.

“It’d be nice if we can get all the way to Wembley so that a few more can go.”

The crowd figure is unlikely to be four figures. County will release ticket details soon but it is likely that a ballot will be needed as they have around 1,100 season ticket holders.

However, if the Exiles beat Forest Green - who will have fans at the New Lawn for the second leg - then more fans will be able to head to the final at Wembley on Monday, May 31.

The FA Cup final is being played on Saturday in front of 22,000 fans with Leicester City and Chelsea given 6,250 tickets each, with the rest going to local residents, key workers and stadium guests.

This weekend’s event will help ahead of the three play-off finals at the end of the month.

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EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: “Fans’ return at this climax of the season is just reward for semi-finalist clubs who will now use their significant expertise in crowd management to ensure supporters can enjoy a safe and enjoyable return to their much-loved home grounds.

“We are thankful to all those who have helped ensure fans will be able to support their clubs in important fixtures through the semi-finals and we look forward to welcoming fans in yet greater numbers at the play-off finals.”