NEWPORT County boss Graham Coughlan felt Colchester United's substitutes made all the difference for them following the hosts' 2-1 victory at the JobServe Community Stadium.

The U's scored two late goals through Jay Mingi and Ellis Iandolo to secure the win, after Offrande Zanzala had given the Exiles a first-half lead.

The likes of Iandolo and Samson Tovide came off the bench to make an impact for Colchester in the second half and Newport boss Coughlan admits they made all the difference, against his injury-hit squad.

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Coughlan said: “The performance wasn’t great and nor was the result.

“I thought their bench won them the game – it’s a very, very strong bench and we just don’t have that.

“At this moment in time, we’re missing too many players to be competitive and we’re not strong enough or good enough, at this moment in time.

“We’re coming up short in games and I just think the season is catching up with us.

“We’ve asked a lot of this group of lads and a number of those lads on the pitch have played 51 games – that’s a big, big ask.

“You can see that physically and mentally, we look a team that has played 50-odd games and I just don’t have the strength in depth to impact the games the way they did.


“They (Colchester) are third from bottom and they’re bringing those type of players off the bench and we can’t do that.

"The lads have given their all and they have done from day one, this season.

"They're all hurting in there - we're young, we're naïve, we're inexperienced but we can't stay competitive if we're missing that amount of players.

"We're missing too many big, big players and six or seven starters.

"That's hurting us at the minute, because we don't have the changes to make, we don't have the strength in depth, we don't have the numbers to impact games.

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"We've had a really tough three weeks on the road - we've gone Stockport, we've gone to Wimbledon, we've gone up to Barrow and now Colchester.

"That will play a part as well but let's not make any excuses - we weren't good today.

"I thought we could have kept a clean sheet and there wasn't a lot in it but when they brought their subs on, that was probably the changing of the game.


"That gave them the impetus and the momentum and when they got a goal off the set piece which is not like us, it gave them a little bit of a foot in the right direction.

"Their centre-half (Jay Mingi) got a great goal but at this level, you can't let a centre-half run into your box and put the ball in the back of your net.

"That's where we are and we're all hurting but I've just got to try and keep this group of lads going and keep them motivated and try and get something out of the season, between now and the end of the season."