Newport County last night confirmed that Danny Rose had agreed personal terms and will be signing for Fleetwood Town when the transfer window reopens next week. Whilst County fans have been expecting a January departure for the talented Rose ever since he spent a week training with Crystal Palace at the end of October, most had anticipated that he would be moving to a higher league rather than to another club in the Conference.
Reproduced with kind permission of Sam Shingler
The 23 year old midfielder, who signed from Oxford United in 2008, drew attention last season when named Conference Young Player of the Year during County’s first season back in Conference. He has been similarly impressive this term, even though Newport find themselves embroiled in a relegation fight and County, already short of goals having failed to score in 10 of their 25 league games this season, will now have to address this problem without their most creative player.
The move is further evidence of the ambition and spending capacity of Fleetwood Town, as they seek to secure a place in the football league for the first time in their history. Town are currently locked in what is increasingly becoming a two way battle for automatic promotion with Wrexham. With key player Lee Fowler handing the Dragons a transfer request yesterday evening in contrast to the squad strengthening occurring at Fleetwood, Town manager Micky Mellon will be confident that his side can overhaul the two point deficit that currently exists between the sides.
Meanwhile, Newport must now face what is potentially their most important match of the season at basement club Bath City without both Danny Rose and the still suspended Sam Foley. The amount of pressure that County will be under will depend upon results on New Year’s Day, as favourable results for two of Kettering, Hayes & Yeading, Alfreton and Stockport would see County drop into the bottom 4 before they kick off. Further pressure comes from the fact that four of the next five games are away from home, with difficult trips to Luton, Cambridge and Gateshead coming up during January.
The glimmer of hope in all this is that Newport County have produced better performances on the road than they have at Spytty Park, where a waterlogged pitch caused the home Boxing Day tie with Bath City to be postponed. There is a strong argument that the condition of the pitch over the last couple of months has contributed significantly to their poor home form, in which The Exiles have lost five of the last seven matches and failed to score in four of them. As the last of these defeats was the return fixture against Fleetwood, County having won at Highbury Stadium 4-1 back in October, at least they will not have to face the talents of Danny Rose as they battle for survival during the remainder of the season.