We've got our Walsall Back
Sat 25th Feb 2006 3pm KO
As the 242 Saddlers who braved the journey to a rather cold and windy Southend sang 'we've got our Walsal back'. The reason for this was not so much the brave point earned at the home of the league one divisional leaders it was the way we did it. The performance was more of the old Walsall, organised, disciplined and determined. Whilst it would be foolish to think that our problems are over. But it is a glimpse of the way out of trouble.
Both sides had there chances and in fact Oakes made at least three fantastic saves as he was the bussier of the two keepers. The strong wind made fools out of players of both sides as the wind grab hold of passes sending them often wide of there targets. Eventually both sides came to grips with the conditions. Southend were further hindered by losing two players to injury in Spencer Prior and Mitchell Cole, however the replacements that came on did quite well.
From Walsalls perspective it was disappointing that Ian Roper picked up a booking for a needless tackle which means he has reached 5 and so misses the crunch game against Bournemouth. Plus points were numerous, with Walsall looking more comfortable with the 4-4-2 rather than the 5-3-2 of last week.The team looked solid and capable of holding there own against the league leaders. In fact if it wasn't for the lack of a forward cutting edge it is a game we could have won. It is the forward line which will send us down if a solution to that and the creative side isn't found. It was also good to see good use of subsitutions, James comming on for the inaffective Fitzgerald (68) and Constable comming on for Barrowman later(85)As the game was closing Oleary came on for Wright to strenghten the defensive cover on the righthand side.
Southend will look at missed chances and see 2 points lost, Saddlers will see hope and a point gained and a chance spurned in the last kick of the game to snatch all 3 points.
Match preview said he was the man to watch, and he gave a assured preformance and made some fine stops,one of his best games in a Walsall shirt.
We have got our Walsall back
'I was please with 90% of it. I thought the players were magnificent'
'Next week against Bournemouth people will be expecting us to win'