STRIKER Jamille Matt reckons Newport County’s performances against the “so-called top sides” in League Two shows they really mean business this season.

Having suffered only one defeat and accumulated 20 points from a possible 33 so far, the Exiles, sixth in the table, can justifiably call themselves one of the division’s top teams.

Of the other clubs in the first seven they have played, County have beaten Forest Green Rovers, Crewe Alexandra and Swindon Town, and drawn with leaders Exeter City.

Matt and his team-mates have carried on where the side left off last term, meaning another tilt at promotion is very much on the minds of County’s supporters.

Speaking after last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat of Swindon, in which he scored, Matt said: “All the lads grafted really hard. It’s not an easy place to come to, against a good side, and we’re delighted to get the win.

“When we’ve played the so-called top sides in this division, we’ve played really well and come out with some good results and it shows what a good side we are.

“The table looks good at the moment, but it’s about longevity and we need to make sure we’re consistent, which we have been so far this season.

“We’ve kept picking up points and we want to continue that.

“Last year, we didn’t always get the results we wanted away from home, but we are starting to do that now.

“We’ve had another year together and the lads who have come in have fitted in really well, so it bodes well.

“It’s good to be getting results against teams who are around us at the top of the table.

“If we better our points tally from last year, then we’ll be there or thereabouts.”

Boss Michael Flynn continues to work his magic at Rodney Parade, and Matt reckons that the manager’s ability to create a special atmosphere within the squad has paid dividends.

“The manager has given us the freedom to play,” he added. “He doesn’t go overboard when you have a defeat or when you get a win.

“He’s quite level, which I think is brilliant, and he creates a great environment for the players to enjoy their football.

“And I think when you enjoy your football, that’s when you play your best football.

“That’s the special thing about him and Wayne Hatswell and I think that’s why we’ve done as well as we have.

“Team spirit is a massive thing in football, and we’ve got a great team spirit.

“A lot of the boys have been here for a long time now so when the new boys come in, they’re welcomed with open arms and everyone joins in.

“That team spirit has kept us going. It got us into the play-offs last year and I think it’s something that we want to keep using to push us on.”

County entertain Carlisle United this Saturday.