Dean Smith hoping to get Walsall FC's season back on track

Walsall boss Dean Smith today admitted he hopes the Saddlers can find their form after getting lost in Snowdonia.

Dean Smith
Dean Smith

The Saddlers went on a team-bonding trip to Wales last week during a two-week break following their early FA Cup exit.

The squad were unable to climb Snowdon because of bad weather but went hiking and gorge walking.

And Smith hopes to rediscover the winning touch at Coventry tomorrow after physio Jon Whitney lost his bearings on a hike.

He said: “Jon’s map reading needs a bit of work. Jon just saw a point and went for it – without map-reading skills. He kept saying we were heading for the tree line which was on the map. But after about an hour and a half I grabbed the map off him and it actually said ‘trail line’.

“It was a bit of stomping, an eight-mile trek up and down but the lads all made it up to the top.

“It was different, it was good to get away from football and to talk about other things apart from football. It was a chance to recharge the batteries and hopefully it will have worked.”

The Saddlers are 19th in League One and are looking to end their 14-match winless run at the Ricoh Arena.

Skipper Andy Butler believes the trip was worthwhile ahead of their derby at the Sky Blues.

“The training ground has been a little flooded so it was nice to have a change of scenery and get together as a group,” said the defender.

“There have been quite a few games so it was nice to have a break and get away from it.

“Connor (Taylor) and Jake Jones made it a personal race to get to the top first. It was good fun and people enjoyed it, probably more than they thought they would. It was really worthwhile.”