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Newport boss Flynn 'proud and gutted' after Spurs draw

  • League Two Newport County nearly knocked Tottenham out of the FA Cup
  • Spurs named a strong XI including Harry Kane and Fernando Llorente
  • But they fell behind after 38 minutes when Padraig Amond headed home
  • Substitute Son Heung-min set up Harry Kane for an equaliser on 82 minutes

By Rob Cole For The Mail On Sunday

Published: 19:24 EST, 27 January 2018 | Updated: 13:36 EST, 28 January 2018

Michael Flynn may have been 'the proudest manager in the country' after his Newport County minnows frustrated the millionaires of Spurs, but he was still 'gutted' not to have hung on for victory.

Harry Kane tapped in his 30th goal of the season eight minutes from time to take the game to a replay and give the League 2 side, 72 places behind their Premier League rivals, a big day out at Wembley.

'They are a fantastic group of players and they gave me their all. I'm gutted for them that Spurs scored so late, but they've made me the proudest manager in the country right now,' said Flynn.

Harry Kane saved Tottenham from a humiliating FA Cup defeat with a late equaliser
Harry Kane saved Tottenham from a humiliating FA Cup defeat with a late equaliser

Harry Kane saved Tottenham from a humiliating FA Cup defeat with a late equaliser

'I could have been selfish and tried to be the hero and gone for, it but I would sever jeopardise the finances. We had to get focussed, it was the only mistake we made all day and we got punished for it.

'It's incredible, it was my 59th game today and I'm proud of everything we've achieved. I don't get carried away, but speaking to Mauricio Pochettino was an eye opener, he's a class act.

'If the replay is anything like the second half then I'm not relishing it. But I've got every confidence in my players because they've been magnificent from day one.

Newport keeper Day was later helpless when Son's flick fell to Kane to score from close range
Newport keeper Day was later helpless when Son's flick fell to Kane to score from close range

Newport keeper Day was later helpless when Son's flick fell to Kane to score from close range

'Days like this are huge for clubs like us and keeps you ticking over. We turnover £2.2m a year as a football club, but this run will give us an excess of £700K. 'It allows us to lay foundations for the future. We have a good group of people running the club and I trust they'll spend it well.

'I would be lying if the shock wasn't on my mind and it would have been the best result ever. I can't speak highly enough of Spurs - we came up against class players, a class club and a class manager.

'I nearly hid under the table when I saw the team-sheet, but Spurs have been a class act. Each one of them shook my hand and knew what it meant for our club.

Padraig Amond stunned the Premier League side when he headed in to score his 10th goal
Padraig Amond stunned the Premier League side when he headed in to score his 10th goal

Padraig Amond stunned the Premier League side when he headed in to score his 10th goal

'This cup run has helped us get a new generation of fans. When we went out of business we lost a generation but that's the best atmosphere I've experienced at Rodney Parade – the buzz and the crowd were amazing.

'I thought Joss Labadie looked like a Premier League player today, but you can't give Harry Kane a minute. He's one of the best in the world, but even so my defenders put in an incredible performance.

'If you'd offered me a draw at the start I would have bitten your hand off then gone for your feet.'

Pochettino was forced to introduce his big guns in the second half to quell the local storm and was a mightily relieved man to get a replay. This time last year it took a 97th minute goal from Son to beat Wycombe 4-3 at White Hart Lane, so he knew what to expect.

The ex-Republic of Ireland Under-21 international rose above Kieran Trippier to head home
The ex-Republic of Ireland Under-21 international rose above Kieran Trippier to head home

The ex-Republic of Ireland Under-21 international rose above Kieran Trippier to head home

'I am relieved to be going away with a draw, they were superb, full credit to them,' said the Spurs manager.

'We started to play and grow in the second-half, but we are happy we have a replay and to stay in the competition. We cannot use the pitch as an excuse, we need to look at us.

'We were aware about how Newport play, they are very athletic with quality. We couldn't match this level.

'The key was to match them in motivation, style and fight and we lost every challenge in first-half. It was difficult to play forward, we played safe.

'The team didn't show they wanted to get into the next round, which was disappointing. It's easy to say we want win trophies, but we missed a massive opportunity today to show we wanted it.

Newport boss Michael Flynn said he was 'the proudest manager in the country'
Newport boss Michael Flynn said he was 'the proudest manager in the country'

Newport boss Michael Flynn said he was 'the proudest manager in the country'

'I hope we have learned today that we have to fight to win things. I heard the FA Cup was magic and today you didn't see any difference between a team in the Premier League and League 2.

'We need to realise if we want to do something special we can't miss the opportunity. Why did we have to wait until the end of the game to fight?

'If you fight from the beginning of the game you can show your quality.'

Poichettino also had some special praise for Newport manager Michale Flynn. Last season he performed a miracle to keep them in the Football League and this year they have been on a magical cup run.

'He is a great manager, he showed that last season when he changed the fortunes of the club completely,' said Pochettino.

'I've been on the other side and I understand how difficult it can be. I understand how they are feeling now, they deserve to come to Wembley.

'I enjoyed being here, even though I was worried in the game because sometimes I miss this atmosphere and this type of football. It was all about passion.

'Their team was very good, all of their team impressed me. They were so good and showed a fantastic level of physicality - big congratulations must go to them.' 

 

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