• Nathan Smith

Exeter City Captain Matt Jay on transfer rumours, upcoming Swindon game and his Exeter ambitions

Updated: Feb 8

Exeter City Captain Matt Jay says his focus is fully on the here and now as his Exeter side travel to the County Ground to take on Swindon in a must-win League Two encounter.

After a superb 20/21 season for the Grecians, there has been plenty of rumoured interest in Jay, and that has remained the case at the midway point of this season.

However, the Exeter talisman was unaware of any interest in his services, and chooses to not pay attention to any form of transfer talk.

"I would leave that to the powers that be and just focus on the here and now and if anything happened you just have to leave it to the other people to decide, to negotiate but I wasn’t aware of anything."

A poor run of form going into the new year had put Exeter a little off the pace in the promotion hunt, but the team haven't tasted defeat in their last three, putting them right back in the promotion picture.

Matt Jay believes that all his side need is one good run, and a bit of fortune elsewhere and the Grecians will be back amongst the automatic promotion places.

"I think if you can put a good run together and back up one win with another and another, all of a sudden you’re not to far off the top three.

"It’s important to focus on the here and now and try to cement our place in the play-off places, which doesn’t seem to far away or too far of a difficult task because we have to win our games and hope that other teams lose and drop points and I think over the last few weeks that hasn’t seemed to be the case, whenever we’ve won, the teams around us have won as well, so it doesn’t look as good as it could do.

"It only takes one good run from a team and a bad one from another and you are right where you want to be."

Swindon and Exeter have clashed plenty of times in recent years, and following a late postponement to their Boxing Day clash earlier in the season, Jay thinks that Exeter may have Swindon well-scouted.

"We know more of them then we do of any other game, you normally have one game a week or sometimes two, and this will be the second time we’ve prepared for Swindon and we know a lot about them having played them often enough in the league and cup competitions.

"I think it’s a team we have done our homework on, we know how good they can be, we also know how we can beat them and implement ourselves onto the game. We are going into this week confident on what we can expect from them, they are a very good side but I think they haven’t changed too much in terms of style and I don’t expect them to all of a sudden change and just boot balls up to a big striker because they haven’t done that so far this season.

"I’m not saying it’s going to be easy at all but the homework from Matt (Taylor) and the staff has been pretty obvious and they’ve given us a clear message going into this game."

It could be argued that Matt Jay has not had as much success in front of goal then he did last season, something the captain puts down to a changing role in the team but also something he is working hard to amend.

"We lost Sam (Nombe) for a period of time and I think it’s clear that at the start of the season going into the next three/four months that me, Jevani (Brown) and him all clicked together and I scored the odd goal here or there but it wasn’t as free flowing as I would’ve liked it to be.

"This year my role has been slighty different and my role was slightly unknown to teams, whereas this year, after a successful season for me and the team it hasn’t been so straightforward all of the time and I seem to have been man-marked in the last few games which has been frustrating but I look back to Scunthorpe and I didn’t get a yard the whole game but the team came away with a really good win.

"That’s where I’m at as a player, I want to do as well as I can personally but my role this year is all about the team and helping get the team over the line and captain the side into League One, and hopefully into the play-offs this year and a really successful season on that part but I’m looking to get back amongst the goals and or the assists, and I’ve been working hard over the last few weeks in training to try and get those chances that I haven’t had as of late."

The captain has been an ever-present in the Exeter team for the last few years, but he may look a little different on Saturday, as he has decided to do away with the long locks, opting for a shorter cut.

Speaking on the big move, Jay stated: "The time had come to get the chop, I went into training today and no one knew I was doing it, so everyone was taken a back by it.

"Hopefully it gives me a new lease of life, and makes me a yard or two quicker!"

Jay will be hoping the haircut helps Exeter on their way to a big win against Swindon Town as both sides look to challenge for automatic promotion.