NCM EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Jay Smith

By Paul Smith
Last updated : 27 November 2007

Havant star Smith is targeting an upset and believes the Hawks have exactly what it takes to beat their League Two counterparts.

"I personally believe it is a game that if we play our best in, I honestly think we can win," he said.

Not to be confused with his Notts namesake

"We will be raring to go and hopefully will come out all guns blazing.

"We have a lot of experience in our team which should help us."

Havant are currently eleventh in the table, despite pre-season aspirations of a playoff push, but Smith explained there situation:

"(The season) has been going quite well I think. We are a little behind in fixtures due to the FA Cup and other things, and would obviously like to be higher up in the table, because I feel we have a very good set of players."

The Hawks defeated York City of the Blue Square Premier 1-0 away from home in the first round proper having emerged through three qualifying rounds largely unscathed.

And Smith is hopeful of another good Havant following similar to that which travelled to Kit Kat crescent.

"I would hope to think a fair few (fans) will make the trip, but I'm not sure how many will to be honest," he admitted.

"We had good support in York and if they all come again I hope we will do them proud."

Just as big as playing on a league ground for the central player is the possibility of coming up against former Brentford colleague and mate Matt Somner.

Somner... Mate of Smith's
The pair have remained close since their days at Griffin Park at the start of the decade, and the banter has been flying about already.

"There has been a lot of banter flying around," said Smith.

"He is very confident of a Notts win but I hope to be giving him some stick come Saturday night.

"I don't know much about the County team, but seeing as though they are full-time professionals, I'm sure they are all very good players and are going to push us harder than any team has this season.

"I'm especially looking forward to facing Matt!"

Somner has been in and out of Ian McParland's Notts side recently, leaving Smith hopeful that the two will meet in what would be a key midfield battle.

"It's a shame he has been out of the side," said Smith.

"One thing about Matt is that he always wants to win, and will always give 110%. I hope he will be back in the side soon and even more so that I'll be facing him on Saturday."

The draw has been kind to the Hawks, with Smith one of the players most pleased by it.

Havant's Smith during Brentford days

"I've been lucky enough to play in some good grounds throughout my career, and I'm looking forward to coming to Meadow Lane," he enthused.

"Notts County is a big club, with a big ground, and I'm sure it wont be too much longer before they start climbing back up the leagues.

"The lads were pleased because we had drawn a league club which is what everyone wanted."

In a final warning shot, the confident Smith revealed which players could cause McParland's league strugglers some problems in their attempts to reach a possible glamour third round tie.

"Tony Taggart is a good player and on his day he could rip any team apart, very good on the ball and at running at players," he revealed.

"Mo Harkin is another winger who has loads of ability and can cause other teams a lot of problems and our keeper Kevin Scriven has been the best player this season in my opinion, he is a great shot stopper."

Special thanks to SurreyNotts for his help.

Notts. County Match Reports

Sky Bet League Two Sat 18th November 15:00

Notts County 3 - 1 Cheltenham Town

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