Saddlers boss is proud of players

Walsall boss Dean Smith today saluted his maturing young team as they readied themselves for the next test in their League One baptism of fire.

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Walsall boss Dean Smith today saluted his maturing young team as they readied themselves for the next test in their League One baptism of fire.

The Saddlers head for Stevenage tomorrow fresh from a 2-1 victory at Portsmouth that shot the pre-season relegation favourites to a place among the front-runners.

Smith is mindful that too much can be made of what has become a super start from his untried team who responded to their opening day defeat with a five-game uneaten League run.

But he is also bristling with pride at the standards being set as they maintained their unbeaten away run and prepared for a tough test against last season’s play-off semi-finalists.

“You look at the fixture list, and I know I say every game is a tough game – but I thought we had a really tough start,” said Smith.

“It’s nice to be five games unbeaten but we’re only six games in and there’s a lot of teams to come up against and a long way to go.”

Walsall moved fifth with Saturday’s win and face a Stevenage side a point above them, but yet to record a home league win.

And the manager is ready for tomorrow’s challenge, adding: “We’ve got pace, trickery, invention and creation and can cause any team problems.”