Newport manager Michael Flynn hopes Wilfried Bony can be their secret weapon to deliver a Carabao Cup upset against West Ham.
Ivory Coast striker Bony left Swansea in the summer and has been training with Sky Bet League Two side Newport to keep fit as he tries to find a new club.
And Flynn wants to tap into Bony’s knowledge of Manuel Pellegrini, the West Ham manager who signed the 30-year-old for Manchester City for £28million in January 2015, to shock the Premier League favourites.
“Wilf’s a good professional and I’m sure he’s very fond of Mr Pellegrini,” Flynn said at his pre-match press conference.
“But I might try and catch him off guard and see if he can let something loose!
“It’s just been really positive having him around and watching his work ethic and the intensity that he trains at.
“The boys have been able to watch someone who has been at the top of the game, working so hard day in, day out to better themselves.”
Newport work on one of the smallest budgets in the entire English Football League, but the Welsh side have established a giant-killing reputation under Flynn.
The Exiles have knocked Leeds, Leicester and Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup in the last two seasons, as well as holding Tottenham 1-1 at home before losing a Wembley replay.
Newport also pushed Manchester City all the way in a fifth-round tie in February before conceding two late goals to Pep Guardiola’s champions.
“It’s nice to be out there in the public eye,” Flynn said.
“It’s massive for the football club, but we know it’s going to be a really difficult time.
“West Ham are full of top players with a very good manager who has been in England long enough now to know what it’s all about.
“They’ll be looking to avoid an upset because they’ll see it as a route to Wembley, but it’s a free hit for us and we’ll give it our best shot.”
Newport have produced their cup upsets in the middle of winter when the Rodney Parade surface, which also plays hosts to two rugby teams, has been in poor condition.
Flynn said: “The pitch is looking in great shape, so that’s not going to be too much of a help to us.
“But I don’t want it to be if I’m honest. I want the boys to test themselves against top footballers.
“We’ve proved that we can play football, even when the pitch was really bad against Middlesbrough.”
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