Boss Dean Smith today hit back at the critics who were waiting for Walsall to fail and insisted ‘we’re still on track’.
The Saddlers manager is confident his men will recover after Saturday’s last-gasp defeat to Carlisle.
Karl Darlow’s poor clearance saw Liam Noble snatch a last-minute winner as the Cumbrians condemned the hosts to successive 2-1 home defeats.
But Smith dismissed any fears the Saddlers were on the slide and insisted they will prove the doubters wrong, starting against Port Vale tomorrow.
He said: “There will be a lot of people waiting for this to happen and saying they could see it coming. I couldn’t and we can respond.
“After the Bournemouth game you could feel there was an expectation we should have won these games. But it’s tough in this league.
“We’ve lost two on the spin but it doesn’t detract from the type of football we want to play. It’s going to be a long way to get where we want to be but there are promising signs for a young squad. They will keep getting better, but there are lessons to be learned.
“We’ve been putting in really good performances and getting points from them.
“On Saturday it wasn’t on our best performance.”
Jamie Paterson’s second of the season was cancelled out by Joe Garner’s leveller and Noble’s winner after Darlow only half-cleared Dean Holden’s back-pass.
Smith refused to blame the on-loan Nottingham Forest goalkeeper and insisted his team should have been shrewder.
“It looked a poor goal but we’ve still got to have bodies around there to deal with the second ball,” he said, with Walsall now 11th in League One.
“We didn’t do enough to win the game but what we shouldn’t do is lose it like we did at the death.
“To be honest, some of the lads looked a little tired and we looked jaded in the second half.”