Manset will improve with fitness - Saddlers' Smith

Walsall boss Dean Smith insists fans will see the best of Mathieu Manset once the Saddlers’ signing is fit.

Dean Smith /Walsall Mgr

Manset endured a difficult debut in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Scunthorpe after signing for the club last week.

But Smith, who tracked the Frenchman throughout pre-season before finally landing his man, insists the 25-year-old will flourish once he catches up on fitness. Smith, who gave Manset a full 90 minutes against the Iron, said: “The pace of the game at Scunthorpe was tough for him and he did not get much change out of Miles Addison.

“He has played at a higher level so it was always going to be tough.

“We thought we would only get 60 to 65 minutes out of him but we had to leave him on.

“It’s disappointing because we kept putting the ball onto Addison’s head. He is renowned for heading the ball and we kept putting it up there.


“But Mathieu will get better when he gets fitter and we know that. It was probably a punt to throw him in on Saturday but we went for it.”

Saturday’s game saw the first outing for Walsall’s new-look strike pairing as Manset partnered ex-Shrewsbury forward Tom Bradshaw in attack. And Bradshaw is confident they can develop an understanding.

“It didn’t work out like we hoped it would work out but we have a full week to get a few training sessions under our belt and build on our relationship ¬ not only me and Mathieu but as a team,” said Bradshaw.

“Hopefully it will go from strength to strength.

“He is big and strong and can compete in the air, he can score goals like he showed in pre-season and he can provide them too.

“It is an exciting prospect for me to be playing up there with him.”

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Comments for: "Manset will improve with fitness - Saddlers' Smith"


Could be a good pairing, as i said in another quote get the formation right and we'll be ok im sure. Come on you reds!!!!


Bradshaw needs someone to share the burden, manset isnt a regular scorer though. I wanted manset but I think to get the best from him we need to start playing the long ball instead of trying to pass it into the net. Manset can chase, hold it up and put it on a plate for bradshaw. He can also chip in with the odd goal as he showed in pre season, but I think he will be the muscle in the attack more than the finisher. I look forward to watching the partnership grow