Newport County caretaker boss Mike Flynn described himself as “ecstatic” as his side pulled off one of the greatest relegation escapes in Football League history.
When Flynn took over in March the Exiles were 11 points adrift, but a dramatic 2-1 win over Notts County kept them in League Two.
Instead Hartlepool were went down.
“I’m ecstatic. I’m so happy for the fans, for the players and for myself. They’ve all been immense,” said Flynn.
At one point Hartlepool seemed destined to ensure Newport’s relegation, but the Welsh club survived thanks to Mark O’Brien’s late winner.
‘We thought we were dead and buried’
Flynn added: “Let’s be honest, it’s huge. We thought we were dead and buried.
“Everybody thought Newport were down. But, look, we are Newport County, we might not be the most polished club in the world, but one thing we will always do is that we will fight.
“The players have written their names in the record books. They deserve it, they’ve been fantastic for me and I can’t thank them enough.
“The board of directors too, they deserve a massive amount of credit for making some tough decisions.
“They’ve backed me and put their faith in me. Everything they do is for the good of the club and they get some unfair criticism at times.
“But I’ve got to be fair, they’ve been first class in everything they’ve done.
“There’s also my family, my wife Victoria has supported me and picked me up when I was down. She’s been there for me and my kids.”
When Hartlepool went ahead against Doncaster, that seemed Newport would drop to the National League.
But in the 89th minute, O’Brien fired home to spark wild scenes of celebration at Rodney Parade.
Flynn joked that his feelings when he thought his side were hitting the trap door were not really for family consumption.
“I can’t say the exact words of what I was feeling then because I don’t think you could put them on air,” Flynn told BBC Radio Wales Sport.
Flynn wants the job, permanently
“It was tense, it was scary, it was nerve-wracking.
“We threw three up-front, we threw Mark O’Brien up-front and he got the winner. He is perhaps an unlikely hero, but that’s what football is.
“I feel sorry for Hartlepool, but it was either them or us and I’m so glad it was them and not us.”
Flynn has been in temporary charge at the Welsh club, but said he now wanted the job on a permanent basis.
He added: “I don’t know, I’ll have to sit down with the board of directors. But I’d be a fool not to want the job.”