Justin Edinburgh hopes for Newport County Wembley boost

Justin Edinburgh

FA Trophy Final: Newport County v York City

Wembley Stadium
Saturday, 12 May
1500 BST
Live coverage on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Online

Manager Justin Edinburgh believes winning the FA Trophy final York on Saturday could be the "catalyst... of something really great".

The Blue Square Bet Premier rivals meet at Wembley in Newport's 100th year with Edinburgh having guided his side to league safety.

Edinburgh says Newport's history as a former Football League club can also spur them on.

"Maybe we'll win a first major trophy," said the former Tottenham defender.

"The club went out of business, reformed and maybe it's a little bit of a lucky omen that it's the 100th year of the club's history and we're going to Wembley for the first time."

Newport County were reformed in 1989 having folded and been relegated to the lower leagues amid financial problems.

Edinburgh says having been out of the limelight for so long has made the club keen to make a mark when the chance arises.

"Everyone feels they have a divine right to be a football league side, we probably more than most believe that because we'd been there for a long time," said Edinburgh.

Now the Newport boss hopes his own Wembley experiences can help inspire his players against York.

The ex-Tottenham defender has mixed memories of the old Wembley, having been an FA Cup winner in 1991, but sent-off in the 1999 League Cup final.

"I've seen many a good player overcome by the occasion," he said.

"You hope the players will keep their nerve, embrace the day and go on and give a good account of themselves."

Edinburgh added: "Because that's one thing as a player that you want to make sure you leave that stadium and have no regrets."

The Newport manager was a member of Terry Venables' Spurs side which beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 to win the FA Cup in 1991.

But he will also be remembered for being sent-off during Spurs' League Cup final win over Leicester eight years later following an controversial incident involving Welsh midfielder Robbie Savage.

"Obviously at the time it was quite embarrassing. You feel that you've let your team-mates and certain people down," said Edinburgh of the dismissal.

"Ok, the outcome was good for myself because we won the competition, but they are the things that can happen on the day.

"You can get caught up in the occasion.

"Robbie's apologised publicly [and] we're a lot older and wiser now and it's been and gone.

"It's nice to know people like Robbie are talking about Newport and giving us the exposure and the credit we deserve."

Saturday's FA Trophy final against York City will be Newport's first ever appearance at the home of English football.

For their opponents the game will be the first of two visits to Wembley with a Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final against Luton the following Sunday.

Edinburgh acknowledges the Exiles will be seen by many as underdogs but said his side will not be making up the numbers at Wembley.

"We're not going there to enjoy the day - we're going there to win the football match and win the trophy. I feel we're capable of doing that," added the former Portsmouth player.

"I can only credit the players. They've been fantastic for me since the turn of the year and we go to the final confident.

"I know a lot of people have put us as underdogs, but we've been that for most of the season.

"I do really feel we have every chance of winning the cup."

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