06 August 2022

Michael Flynn condemns ‘absolutely disgusting’ abuse on Newport return

06 August 2022

Former Newport manager Michael Flynn alleged that home fans threw stones at him and insulted his wife as his Walsall team claimed a 1-0 win at Rodney Parade.

A Mickey Demetriou own goal midway through the second half was enough to give the Saddlers all three points and maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.

But Flynn’s return to south Wales, where he was in charge for four-and-a-half years and led the club to two play-off finals, was marred by the actions of a small section of the home support.

The 41-year-old was given a rousing reception as he took his place on the touchline before the match, but things turned ugly during an at-times bad-tempered match, which ended with Walsall reduced to 10 men when Taylor Allen received a second yellow card after 85 minutes.

“It was a bit of a surreal feeling afterwards because I’ve never ever wanted Newport to lose,” said Newport-born Flynn.

“But some of the comments (from the fans) behind me, calling my wife all sorts, were absolutely disgusting, so it probably makes it easier to accept the win. It makes the win all the sweeter, if I’m honest.

“They’ve got short memories; what me and Hats (assistant manager Wayne Hatswell) have done (here) was phenomenal. I left on good terms and I have nothing but respect for the football club.

“It’s only a small few. The rest of the fans were respectful and gave me a lovely ovation from near enough every side of the ground. That was special – something that I’ll never forget.

“But people think they can say what they want and it’s upsetting. They crossed the line and it’s a shame.

“And it wasn’t just insults, stones were getting thrown by the supporters behind (the dugout).

“I can take abuse towards me but when they start bringing my wife into it and throwing stones, it’s not good.

“I’m not going to make a complaint, I don’t want Newport to get in trouble.

“I’d probably just say have a look at the CCTV and ban the clown who did it – simple.”

Newport said in a club statement they were aware of Flynn’s comments and would be “conducting an internal investigation alongside Rodney Parade and will act accordingly based upon the conclusion of the investigation”.

Regarding the game, Flynn felt Newport did not deserve to lose.

He said: “I think the best team lost, if I’m totally honest. They were very good today, they were better than us. We were solid, we stuck to our guns.

“They can feel hard done by today, because I genuinely think Newport were the better team but my team were absolutely tremendous defensively.

“They’ve lost six in a row at home now, which is obviously not great, but if they play like that every week then Newport will be fine.

“I love this club, I love Newport County. I’ll give my all for Walsall, but it’s professional, nothing personal, which is why it was a little bit upsetting that some fans thought they had to get personal.

“This is a club that will always be in my heart and I’m not going to let one or two idiots spoil my feelings for this football club.

Newport manager James Rowberry was frustrated to come away with nothing after his side dominated the first half, with Aaron Wildig having a goal disallowed, Declan Drysdale heading against the post and Offrande Zanzala seeing a shot cleared off the line by Peter Clarke.

“I would be worried if we hadn’t had the chances, we are still in the process of building something and it was six home debuts plus two off the bench,” said the Exiles boss.

“But I am just bitterly disappointed – that one hurts.

“I am bamboozled that we have not got something from that game.”

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