Blair pushing Brown for premier spot at Town

Matty Blair
Matty Blair
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Matty Blair believes he’s still got work to do to climb the Highbury pecking order, despite coming off the bench to score a second goal in four games.

Blair was a half-time replacement for the injured Junior Brown and was rewarded for his hard work down the left when his 71st-minute effort beat Artur Krysiak in the Grecians goal.

Blair was delighted to once again be on the score sheet, having opened his Fleetwood account after jsut 20 seconds on the field against Torquay, but was left deflated by two late Exeter goals which saw Town consigned to their first defeat in a month

“It’s unfortunate Junior got injured,” said Blair.

“I don’t know how serious it is. Hopefully it’s just a knock because we need him fit.

“It gave me the chance to get 45 minutes.

“I think I’ve done all right. I’ve got the goal and I’m pleased with that.

“But it’s the result that’s the main thing. We lost, so what I’ve done doesn’t really matter.”

Despite his second half cameo, the winger knows he’s got a long way to go to take the shirt from Fleetwood stalwart Brown.

He said: “It does me no harm but I’m not expecting anything again.

“Junior has been one of our more consistent players this season and if he comes back match fit, he probably should have the shirt.

“I’ve just got to keep myself fit and be ready to take that chance.

“If the gaffer decides to put me in, great, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”

The defeat, courtesy of a late brace from Scott Bennett, ended a four-game run of victories for Fleetwood, sending them from second spot to fourth.

And Blair knows Town need to bounce back quickly at Bristol Rovers on Saturday to stay in the promotion hunt.

He said: “It’s a shame to see the run come to an end.

“But as much as you don’t want to say it, we knew it was going to at some point.

“You’re not going to go a whole season without losing. We know that and it’s now about how we react.

“The lads have shown last time they’ve been beaten how they can bounce back quickly .

“We’ll get focused and ready for Bristol next week.”

Exeter frustrated Fleetwood for 70 minutes before Blair broke the deadlock.

And winger Blair, who arrived in the summer having decided to move on from York City, credited boss Paul Tisdale with a tactical coup.

“It was quite clever by them,” admitted Blair

“We attacked for 70 minutes and then for the last 20 they came into it.

“After we scored they turned up a little bit and we couldn’t match it.

“We can’t make excuses. We know these things can happen.

“We’ve just got to get on with it and move on to the next one.”

Blair’s goal looked, to the casual observer, superbly crafted. The winger latched on to a Conor McLaughlin cross, which had got beyond David Ball, then took on his marker and slotted in from a tight angle.

But he was happy to admit the finish had got him out of a spot of bother with boss Graham Alexander.

“It’s a good first ball in,” he said. “I was probably getting shouted at for not being at the back stick to knock it in.

“But it’s rolled out, I’ve taken it past the defender and found the far corner. I’ve probably got myself out of trouble.”

As for his scoring streak, he’s hoping to make a happy hunting ground of Fleetwood’s Highbury home.

“I’m doing all right, aren’t I?” he chuckled.

“Let’s hope this is a nice little ground I like scoring at.

“That would be good for everybody. I just want to get as many minutes as I can.

“Goals, if they come, are great.”

n Fleetwood midfield ace Antoni Sarcevic has been nominated for the SkyBet League Two player of the month award.