Walsall manager 'concerned' by winless run

Boss Dean Smith today admitted he was “concerned” with winless Walsall but vowed the Saddlers will hit back.

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Smith’s men extended their run to 14 games without victory after being held 1-1 by bottom side Hartlepool on Saturday.

Dean Holden rescued a point after Evan Horwood’s penalty gave Pools a shock first-half lead.

It left Walsall 19th in League One – three points above the drop zone – and Smith revealed his worries but reckons they can escape their nosedive.

He said: “It’s a concern we’re not winning games but if you keep doing the right things it’ll come good and the players kept doing the right things.

“John Hughes, the Hartlepool boss, shook hands with me and said ‘you battered us’ and if we keep playing like that we’ll win games. That’s what I said to the players, keep believing and keep playing that way.

“The lads are hungry for success and they want to get better every game. The attitude and application is what we’ve had in the last couple of games and when you get that you get good results.

“Of the Hartlepool games, I have seen it was the most one sided one I’ve seen them in. We were the dominant force.”

It was the Saddlers’ third straight draw after points at Crawley and Tranmere but they now face an enforced two-week break.

Their early FA Cup exit means Walsall do not play again until they go to Coventry in two weeks.

And Smith believes they are close to rediscovering the winning touch and have the players to cope with their alarming dip in form.

He said: “I wouldn’t quite call it digging in because we’ve played some terrific stuff in the last three games and all that’s missing is a win.

“We have got a weekend off before a local derby and we will look forward to it. We have got good footballers and we have a project.

"We have kids coming through, we have got people playing in the first team, good players who have adapted to a style and all we need are wins.”

Comments for: "Walsall manager 'concerned' by winless run"

Phil H.

As a season ticket holder I am often baffled by Deans team selection !

Last Saturday he picks Grigg who misses more chances than anyone, although you can't fault him for effort.

He leaves Bowerman ,leading goal scorer , on the bench with new striker Craig Westcarr !!!

Then he brings Bowerman on for the last few minuites,giving him little chance of making an impact.

Yes,the play good football,but would it not be better to score a few goals and then play your football ?

Jonny Barlow

Bowerman didn't come on for the last few minutes, he had nearly 15 mins, did nothing and missed a few chances. Grigg had one chance which forced the keeper into the save which we scored from the rebound. Brandy missed 3-4 sitters yet Grigg still gets criticised for those misses? Confusing. Bowerman is awkward, slow and had chances on Sat but missed them!

Merse

Concerned .... so he should be , it will come good .... 14 games without a win ?? What universe does he come from , does he think that Saddlers fans are idiots ?

Hartlepools got smacked lat week , they let in goals for fun , have only won once this campaign and we struggle to get a draw.

Have we got another 2 / half years of this ?? least there could be local derbies v Telford, Hednesford and even Rushall by then !! Hope I'm wrong but its been heading this way for a long time now.

John Brain

Grigg is simply not the answer. Hes slow and sluggish. The fact he is a international for a very poor Northern Ireland team keeps him in the team in my opinion. Bowerman maybe raw but he scores goals. Goals win games its as simple as that.

RogSaddler1

14 games without a win. That's almost a third of the season. If I understand Dean's comments correctly, Plan A isn't working so we'll carry on with Plan A! Sadly it's all been tried before and all the pretty football in the world won't get us out of this division in the right direction. And with pitches becoming heavier, playing the pretty football will become even more difficult. We need a change of direction and we need it now.

kevin

Said from Five games in we need to get Two stikers in to Replace Bowman and Grigg both are not going to set the stage on fire and only come good when playing in the reserve team so only goes to show can not step up to the mark when needed it will be nice to see how Sam and Flo team up together in Midfield

So Come on Saddlers lets pull the game round and get back to were we where at the begining of the season

Jon D

Saturday's result was very disappointing Hartlepool are a poor outfit and we can't beat them.

We need points and we need them quickly. I agree Bowerman should be on the pitch from the start is leading goalscorer - amazing considering the minutes he has been on the pitch this season. Griggs lot of effort but useless in front of goal.

Also we need to defend as a cohesive unit - we look like conceding goals whenever opposition attack - unlike last season where we were sound defensively.

Frank

Nick Mashiter "Walsall are a developing club with a developing team." - The only development this club are doing is to acquire a Manager and first team players (with a few notable exceptions) and develop players capable of performing below division 1. In some ways we might have been better being relegated last season - so that we might have been better entertained with a few wins.

A sad comment ? - you bet - but give us the days when we one by the odd goal or two and occasionally entertained than watching a bunch of mainly division 2 players trying to play like Barcelona but who get forced backwards into a final pass to the keeper by mediocre division 1 teams and I know which I prefer.