Writer: Dan Malin
Date:Friday September 30 2011
October is going to be massive. As far as month`s go this season, October 2011 has the potential to give us a huge boost towards achieving the goals Dean Smith set out at the start of the season. We have to fit 7 games into a month and, with 6 of them being league games, 18 huge points are up for grabs in 6 very winnable games. Of the 6 teams we`re playing in the league next month, I would say Preston are the most dangerous but they are coming to our turf and we are more than capable of beating them. Carlisle on Saturday is the first of a 7 game month which averages at about a game every 4 days. For the die-hard football fans that we are, it is a prospect that leaves us drooling at the mouth as we look forward to seeing the boys nearly twice a week.
Next month`s fixtures are as follows: Carlisle (Home), Rochdale (Away JPT), Wycombe (Away), Preston (Home), Tranmere (Away), Exeter (Home) and MK Dons (Home). You, like me, are probably looking at those 7 games and thinking we have a bloody good chance of beating any of them and that is an exciting prospect. It is wishful thinking to expect us to take 18 points and progress through to the next round of the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy but we have a good team and, when Claude is back to fitness, we will have a full squad to pick from which can only be a good thing. Strength in depth will be crucial to our success this month and the lads coming in off the bench will be just as, if not more, important than the starting 11. Everyone will have to pull their weight but if we can beat Carlisle on Saturday then who knows where this month will take us. All 7 sides are good in their own right but they are no better than us Saddlers, with the exception of maybe Preston, and we should be going into these games knowing that we can beat all of them on our day. I am hoping to get to Liverpool to see us play Tranmere on the 22nd but other than that we are lucky enough to have 4 of the games held at the Banks` Stadium so we will have home advantage at a crucial stage of the season.
As well as the club as a whole, this could be a big month for Jamie Paterson. The young striker, who is equally adept on the wing, has impressed in his few showings this season and has really started to show what he might be capable of when given the chance. He brings a bit of flair to the side and that is something that is evidently lacking when Paterson, and to an extent Nicho, is not on the pitch. Deano started him last week against Colchester and he has obviously seen something in the young lad that makes him think he is ready to step up to the mark. I have not seen enough of Paterson to say whether his inclusion will bring something to the side but, off the bench, he has consistently impressed and he could prove to be a real handful for opposition defence`s when he gets his chance next month.
October could be remembered for a long time as the month Jamie Paterson broke into the team and set the world alight. I don`t know about you fellow Saddlers but I personally can`t wait to see young Jamie and his interesting boots taking on player after player after player……after player.
Date:Friday September 30 2011
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