Walsall boss Dean Smith today vowed his team will not wilt in tonight’s red-hot derby atmosphere against Wolves.
The Saddlers head to Molineux for a hotly-anticipated first league meeting between the two clubs in more than a decade.
Though the rivals faced off in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy just a fortnight ago, a game Wolves won on penalties, Smith is expecting a very different experience this time around.
Tonight’s attendance is expected to be in excess of 20,000, with the Saddlers cheered on by more than 2,000 travelling fans, while the hosts are able to call on several big-name players who missed the Trophy game.
But Smith believes his men have the composure to cope and the ability to thrive in such a setting.
“It’s a different proposition to the cup game because of the players they can bring back into the side but we won’t be overawed,” said Smith.
“Everyone knows what a good squad of players they have got but at the end of the day it is 11 versus 11.
“People say they have struggled at home a bit, though they have still managed to win five out of six in the league and that tells you a lot.
“What adds to it is the extra spice of being a local derby and our players can’t wait.”
Smith had Kenny Jackett’s side watched as they struggled to see of Swindon on Saturday, while the pre-season League One title favourites have also struggled at home to Crawley Town.
But the Saddlers boss is reluctant to read too much into those performances and believes his side cannot count on any complacency from the hosts.