Sam Mantom today hailed Walsall’s derby win at Wolves as the finest moment of his career.
The 21-year-old excelled in the centre of midfield alongside Adam Chambers and Nicky Featherstone as the Saddlers defeated their Black Country rivals for the first time in 14 years.
Born and bred in Stourbridge, the former Albion man is well aware what the win meant for the fans and also expressed his delight for boss Dean Smith, who he revealed made sure every player was in the right frame of mind for the game.
“We have a team who are absolutely over the moon, more for the fans and more for the manager really, because that was mainly for the gaffer,” he said.
“We knew how much the game meant to him personally and it’s a massive result. I’m just proud to be a part of this team.
“I would say it’s the best result of my career to date. I probably knew 500 people in the ground who are Wolves season-ticket holders and to go home and say we beat you on your own ground is nice.
“Obviously there are the Albion links and I’ll get a few nice text messages from that side as well.”
Mantom hailed the Saddlers’ new-look 4-1-4-1 formation, which was used in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Crewe and again last night.
Having previously being used to playing alongside either Featherstone or Chambers, he believes having all three of them on the pitch makes the team stronger.
“I think it gives us more stability in the middle and makes us harder to break down because the ball goes wide and we can get the wingers back,” he said.
“It was something we’d done in training and in the Crewe game. It took us about a half to get used to but after the break we did really well. Last night it worked wonders.
“To a man, everyone was superb. Everyone was running on adrenaline at the end.
“When you have more than 2,000 fans clapping you off you don’t really feel it but there will be a few sore legs this morning.”