Mark Cooper says it is vital Barrow AFC focus on themselves rather than dwell too much on the threats posed by high-flying Newport County.

The Bluebirds head to south Wales today hoping for better fortunes after back-to-back home defeats.

They take on a County side in good form and in third place in League Two.

Newport are hoping top scorer Dom Telford will return from injury, but Barrow boss Cooper preferred to focus on his own side rather than linger on the strengths of James Rowberry’s Exiles.

“We’ve got to concentrate on ourselves to start with,” said Cooper, who could hand a debut to new loan forward Aaron Amadi-Holloway.

“I’m fully aware and respectful of the opposition. They’ve had a brilliant few years.

“Mike Flynn did an incredible job down there, kept them up when they were doomed, and they were denied promotion at Wembley two years running through some incredible refereeing decisions.

“And they’re up there again. It’s a good club, with passionate fans, but I fully expect my team to go and compete and get a result.”

Barrow start the weekend seven points above the relegation zone, and a positive afternoon at Rodney Parade could ease recent concerns.

But another defeat would leave the Bluebirds at risk of seeing the safety gap closed.

Bottom side Oldham Athletic host Rochdale in John Sheridan’s first game back in charge, while second-bottom Scunthorpe United go to Port Vale.

Barrow could do with repeating their recent positive showings on the road – which saw a crucial win at Colchester and a valiant four-goal effort at Barnsley in the FA Cup – rather than this week’s frustrating Holker Street efforts.

Cooper, though, felt he saw positive signs even in defeat to Salford City on Tuesday.

While Newport have won their last three games, Cooper said: “It doesn’t take a lot in League Two to get you out of that groove.

“If we play with the intensity we did the other night and add a bit of quality to the other end, we’ll be a threat.

“The nature of League Two is that anybody can beat anybody.

“We have to go, be organised and we’ll be a threat. I’m sure [Newport] will be looking at us thinking it’s not going to be an easy game.”

Cooper says his team must be ruthless to cut out the type of goals they have conceded recently.

He added: “The difference between the top and bottom is that teams on a good run keep that run going by their intensity.

“They don’t make silly mistakes. That’s what you have to do; to be a winning team you have to make sure you’re on top of the game all the time.”

Barrow will welcome Tom Beadling back from suspension today but have question marks over Robbie Gotts, Ollie Banks, Anthony Glennon and Jordan Stevens.