Caretaker manager Sean McCarthy feels Newport's goalless draw at Colchester was a "stepping stone" for Sky Bet League Two's bottom club.

Newport have made important step forward, insists Sean McCarthy

Newport have made important step forward, insists Sean McCarthy

The Exiles claimed their first away point since August in front of their new manager Graham Westley, who officially takes charge on Monday.

McCarthy said: "It's a stepping stone and it was a good way to go out.

"We'd have liked to have got three points but a clean sheet never loses you games and it was a good gritty performance.

"I'm sure the supporters who came up will have enjoyed it.

"Marlon (Jackson) did have a chance near the end with a header and on another day, he might have scored but it's a point away from home and it's a good point.

"After recent weeks, you've always got it in the back of your mind that the opposition might score in the last few minutes and you have to defend properly, which they've done.

"They got the clean sheet from it and it's not just the back three, it's every single one of them, even the subs that came on, because they all played a part as well."

Colchester head coach John McGreal admitted his side were not creative enough in front of goal.

He said: "It was disappointing not to win.

"I thought we looked defensively sound but we're disappointed that we didn't create more chances.

"We have created one or two chances that we didn't take with the likes of Denny Johnstone and Kurtis Guthrie and in a tight game like that, that's when you do need to take them.

"The decisions we made in the top third were poor by our attackers.

"Newport probably had their new manager watching from the stands and we knew it was going to be tough.

"In the first half, we didn't move the ball quickly enough into pocket areas and in the second half, we were a bit static and ran in straight lines.

"The clean sheet is a positive and we looked really solid, so that's the most pleasing thing to come out of it.

"It's a building process - that's what we're here to try and do."

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