"I feel like I'm playing with a lot of confidence this season" - Defender Stott on his time at Town, Halifax's run of form and the race for the play-offs

Even if FC Halifax Town aren't in the Football League next season, Jamie Stott could very well be.
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The 26-year-old centre-back, whose two-year contract at the club expires this summer, has arguably been Town's player of the season, producing a consistently high level of performance and playing a key role in the club's promotion push.

"In terms of games, it's definitely the best season in my career so far," said Stott, who has made the most appearances for the team this season along with goalkeeper Sam Johnson.

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"Coming off the back end of last year and into this year, I've just been fully confident in myself and I feel that's come out in my performances this year.

Jamie StottJamie Stott
Jamie Stott

"As I've been getting older I feel like I've taken on more of a leadership role within the team.

"I've played every game this season and hopefully that continues for the rest of it.

"If we can finish with a bit of silverware, possibly, or even if we make the play-offs, then that's a success in itself.

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"That's what I'm fully focused on, is getting the team over the line and into the play-offs."

On what he put his excellent season down to, Stott said: "I feel like I've got the gaffer's trust, but also you've got to be playing well week-in, week-out, or you're not going to play.

"We've had Adam Senior, Keano, Jo Cummings, Tom Wilson, Festus has gone on loan, so we have got centre-halves that, if you're not playing well, can easily fill your spot if you get taken out.

"I feel like I've looked after myself really well this year, I've stayed away from injuries, I've been available for every game.

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"I feel like I'm playing with a lot of confidence this season and I'm getting to that point in my career where consistency is key.

"I've done the rounds when I was younger, going out (on loan) and getting games but I've played a lot of games this season, it's probably the best I've had in terms of being at one club, and I feel like that's shown in my performances.

"Hopefully that can continue and I'm just looking forward to the rest of the season."

Halifax is the third club at which Stott has played under Town manager Chris Millington.

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"He was at Curzon Ashton when I was there at 18, he was a coach there and we had a good relationship," said the defender. "I really enjoyed working under him and the rest of the staff.

"He was in the academy at Oldham when I was in the first-team squad, although I was on loan at Stockport.

"He was with the youth team with Pete Wild and then they made the step-up to take the first-team job.

"I've worked with him for a few years and I've say we've got an honest, good relationship.

"I've really enjoyed the last two years playing under him."

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Those two years have seen Stott go from a squad player to first-choice centre-back.

"Certainly maturity-wise, which I feel you get with games," he said when asked how he felt he had developed at The Shay.

"I've played a lot of games at the club over the last two years - probably my best two years in terms of performances at one club.

"I've been at clubs where I've played but then sometimes you're not a manager's cup of tea and you've got to go elsewhere and get your games.

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"I've always been a player that has to play, I love playing football and I'm just very appreciative that I've managed to do that in the last two years here."

Stott has certainly come a long way from his debut at Barnet, where he was sent-off.

"It was a very entertaining first few months where I had to dig deep and learn, wait for my time and be patient," he said.

"But I felt like once I came back into the team, I did really well.

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"I feel like I've matured over the last season-and-a-half and I feel like you can see that in my performances."

On the possibility of extending his stay at Halifax, Stott said: "There's been no talks as of yet, which will get done at the end of the season.

"I just want to focus on getting the team in the play-offs and then let's just see where we go from there.

"I'm enjoying it here at the minute, playing games, I've got a good group of players around me, good squad, good staff.

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"I feel really good at the minute. I'll take it game by game and hopefully we can finish the season off very strongly."

Stott says there is a feel-good factor among the Halifax squad at the minute.

"Everyone's in high spirits in training, we're on a good run of form and everyone's feeling confident," he said.

"Hopefully we can keep that run up in the last few games of the season and finish as high up as we can."

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When asked what was the secret to Town's impressive run of form, Stott said: "I think the first win we got, at Dorking, after a bad start to the year, we've just been backing up the results since then, taking it a game at a time.

"Once you get three, four wins under your belt in a row, that helps massively.

"We had a defeat at Bromley but we played reasonably well for the majority of the game and we bounced straight back the next game and won the next two or three after that.

"The team's just full of confidence at the minute and we're getting players back from injury, so we're getting back to a fully fit squad, which is coming at the right time for us."

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Stott says he hasn't been surprised by Town's recent run of results though.

"I'd say after the difficult start to the new year that we had, we changed shape, started playing a bit more football," he said.

"Our attackers are providing more assists and more goals, which obviously helps us lads at the back.

"But I feel like it's been there all year, we've just had injuries.

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"We've been very solid at the back, we were playing a back three and we've now gone to a back four, which seems to have helped our attacking players to have thrived."

And Stott remains convinced that Town can secure a top seven finish.

"I said a few months ago I'd put them at 100 per cent and I still back that," he said.

"I just want us to stay under the radar, just keep taking it a game at a time and we'll get to where we deserve to be.

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"If we keep performing like we are and keep level-headed then we'll get what we deserve at the end of the season."

And Stott believes The Shaymen can remain calm and composed in the race for the play-offs.

"It depends on the characters in your squad sometimes," he said.

"I can only speak for myself but I'm not getting carried away.

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"I'm sure the older, senior players in the team will keep the younger players level-headed.

"We train hard and when we go into games, we're solely focused on that one game.

"I don't think we'll be running away with ourselves, we'll stay focused and be looking forward to each game coming up."