Dean Smith today told Walsall’s fringe players they will get their chance this season – but must be ready to grasp it.
Competition for places has been fierce so far.
Defenders Ben Purkiss and Dean Holden have not played in the opening seven fixtures, while Nicky Featherstone and Romaine Sawyers have been in and out of the starting line-up.
“Everyone wants to play,” said Smith. “They are professional footballers and what they are geared to is playing every Saturday.
“The ones who aren’t playing are disappointed. But we keep telling them opportunities will come for them, they have got to be ready.”
“The players understand, I always give them an explanation why I make decisions and they seem to understand and work really hard in training to try and get the next opportunity.
“The one thing I always say is be disappointed but make sure you go and show what you are about on the training ground, because that is the more likely place you will turn my head and get back into the team.”
The Saddlers go in search of their first win in five games on Saturday when they visit Crewe.
Recent games have seen them struggle at times against teams who have closed down their passing game.
Smith views this tactic as a compliment to his players but revealed they have been doing their best to combat it on the training ground.
“I think it’s a credit to the players that opposition teams are trying to stop us playing than thinking about their own game,” he said.
“We have spoken about it. What to do if teams come and press us.
“The players are learning all the time and we want to educate them.
“They are getting better for it.”