NEWPORT County AFC striker Jamille Matt admits he and Padraig Amond have failed to hit the heights of last season so far, but he’s sure that the goals will come back soon.

Matt and Amond netted 43 times between them last season to fire County to the League Two play-off final.

The pair have a combined total of 18 goals so far this season, with Matt on six and Amond on 12.

That compares to 15 and 18 respectively at the same stage 12 months ago.

“If we’re being honest, we could have done better,” said Matt ahead of today’s trip to Mansfield Town.

“We wanted to kick on from last season but not every season is the same.

“We’re probably more marked men this season because of the good season we had.”

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As a team, the Exiles have scored just 27 goals in 30 league games and they not hit the net in more than five hours of League Two football.

Are statistics like that a monkey on the back of the strikers?

“It can be like that,” admitted Matt. “As a striker, your job is to score goals and you can overthink it at times.

“We want to be match-winners and when goals don’t come, people look at you.

“But with experience I always think that even if the goals aren’t coming, there will be a time when they come again.

“You don’t become bad players overnight and we’ve just got to focus and do what we’ve always been doing and our luck will change.

“We were the better team the other night [against Walsall]. It’s just that last bit – finishing off chances at the minute.

“But I think if we carry on playing well and creating the chances that we are, the results will come.”

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Despite forming a successful partnership last season, Matt and Amond have not been automatic selections during this campaign.

“It’s not been a settled team and that takes a little bit of getting used to,” said Matt. “Last year was more settled.

“This year Tristan [Abrahams] has come in and done well and now Billy [Waters] and Greeny (Jordan Green) have come in.

“They’re good players but I think you need time to form partnerships and relationships to be fruitful on the pitch.

“It’s all about learning where players want the ball now and when they want the ball and those partnerships will grow with more game-time.”

County start the day in 13th place in the League Two table, 11 points below the last play-off place, but Matt believes they can repeat last season’s late charge into the top seven.

“There’s still time for us to pick up results and get ourselves in the position we want to be,” said the 30-year-old, who scored the late goal at Morecambe to clinch a play-off spot last May (above).

“I believe we can do it and we take confidence from last year and the fact that we’ve done it before.

“We should use that as motivation to try to do the same again.”

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