Andy Butler today warned Walsall they can no longer count on being a surprise package in League One.
The skipper acknowledges the Saddlers have not been at their best in recent weeks and will be looking to get back on track when they host Preston North End tomorrow.
After thumping Tranmere on the opening day and fighting hard for wins at Port Vale and Oldham, they have struggled to find a consistent rhythm against Notts County and suffered a first league defeat against Brentford last week.
Dean Smith’s side surprised many by finishing ninth last season and Butler believes rival teams are now setting out to disrupt the Saddlers passing style.
He admits they must find ways to adapt but says confidence in the dressing room remains high.
“I think we were the surprise package last year and teams have taken notice now,” said Butler.
“They are starting to show a bit more respect to us, they come and try and stop us from playing the passing style which is our strength.
“There is definitely belief in the squad. It’s still early season so we can move on and we can play football.”