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10 February 2021

Tom Clifford labelled the win against Newport County on Tuesday night a “gritty” away performance.

The left-back celebrated his 22nd birthday with the winning goal from free kick 15 minutes from time.

And Clifford praised Blues’ fighting spirit to bounce straight back from the 5-1 defeat to Port Vale with three vital points against the Exiles.

"Getting the three points is the main thing but to get the winning goal on my birthday just makes it that much better," he said.

"It was a gritty performance and we knew it had to be coming here. Newport are towards the top of the league, but I think we played the conditions well, we didn’t try anything fancy, we focussed and got the job done.

"The goal took a little deflection. The aim was to get it over the wall but the deflection has happened and it was a bit lucky but we’ll take it. It’s what we needed right now.

"It was on target so I’m claiming it!"

Following four straight defeats it was Blues’ first win a month, and Clifford said we have to use the confidence to go on another run.

"We’ve got to build on that performance," Clifford added.

"Port Vale wasn’t us, but we have to build on the win against Newport.

"It can happen sometimes [the Port Vale result] and you have to recover in games but we didn’t in that game.

"But we showed our character against Newport. That’s more what we’re about.

"We need to tidy up on a few areas and just keep going and get stronger.

"We have to get back to how we were in December when we were winning.

"We weren’t perfect but if we can build on this performance, tidy up in areas and keep showing our resilience defensively then we can hopefully pick up some points."

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