Dean Smith denies Walsall have mental block

Walsall boss Dean Smith today insisted his young side have no mental block to defending leads as he prepared them for their toughest test yet tonight.

SOCCER - nPower Football League One - Shrewsbury Town v Walsall

Smith will take the 12th-placed Saddlers to Bramall Lane to face unbeaten Sheffield United knowing victory could push them back towards the League One play-offs.

And the Banks’s Stadium boss insists he will not worry if his side go ahead this evening despite seeing them blow a two-goal lead for the third time this term in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Crewe.

“Is it a problem? Not really,” insisted Smith. “We came back from behind against Preston and won the game, we came from behind against Oldham and got a point. We went to Portsmouth and Bournemouth and held leads so we know we can do it and there is belief in that dressing room.”

The third-placed Blades are the only undefeated side left in League One with their average crowd of more than 18,000 comfortably the best in the division.

And Smith insists his side will relish the occasion as they look to upset Danny Wilson’s side.

“It’s always a good place to go and play football,” said Smith. “It can be intimidating with their supporters and the crowds they get there but my players are confident lads. They will play football the right way.”

Smith must decide whether to recall leading scorer George Bowerman after preferring Will Grigg for the draw against Crewe.

Meanwhile, Wilson has a doubt over Dave Kitson, who scored the weekend winner against Preston.

The experienced striker is unwell but he played despite the illness on Saturday and is expected to do likewise tonight.

And Wilson has warned the Saddlers his side’s spirit is second to none.

“The biggest thing that a professional footballer can have is trust,” he said.

“Trust in their mate and the player alongside them. That’s what our lads have got at the moment.

“They’ve got trust in George Long (goalkeeper) and they know that, if the ball goes into the area, that Neill Collins is going to put his head in where it hurts and that Matty Hill is going to do the same. I could go on.

“You won’t find a place that’s tougher to go than Preston. But we dealt with it well.”