WALSALL were celebrating again today after clinching a top award courtesy of their derby win at Wolves.
Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory at Molineux has won the League Managers Association’s Performance of the Week honour.
The Saddlers were selected by the LMA’s five-man awards panel which comprises of chairman Howard Wilkinson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Joe Royle, Dave Bassett and Barry Fry. Dean Smith will receive a specially engraved crystal football to commemorate the award prior to tomorrow’s match at home to Rotherham.
Meanwhile, defender Andy Taylor today claimed a quick start was key to the derby win.
The Saddlers have at times struggled to impose themselves during the first half of games this season.
But on Tuesday they were quickly into their stride and Taylor, who had an excellent game at left-back, believes they must again be quick out of the blocks against Rotherham tomorrow.
“I felt straight from the off we were trying to take the game to Wolves,” he said. “In the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game we possibly sat back a little too much in the first half and gave them too much respect.
“But definitely the other night we played at a high tempo straight from the off.
“Every game is a new challenge, we are prepared for Rotherham tomorrow and then Orient.
“There are some tough games coming up but it’s an exciting time to be involved.”
Taylor was happy to take the individual plaudits for his own performance and admitted he is delighted to be back to full fitness, after missing the start of the season with an ankle injury
“It’s always nice to get personal plaudits but I just felt as a team, man for man, we did our job and played well,” he said.
“It showed throughout the game that we were quite comfortable and in control.
“For me personally it’s good to be back in the team after the frustrating start to the season. Hopefully I can go into tomorrow the same.”
n Dean Smith has confirmed he is set for talks “very soon” with former Walsall winger Julian Gray over a possible return.
Gray has been training with the Saddlers for more than a month after leaving Cypriot side Nea Salamina Famagusta and made his second appearance for the reserves on Wednesday in their 1-0 win at Morecambe.