Dean Smith today marked his nomination for League One manager of the month by insisting Walsall have the quality to match their team spirit.
The Saddlers boss was one of four shortlisted for the monthly award this morning, following an excellent September in which his side claimed eight points from four games, beat local rivals Wolves and became the first team to take points off league leaders Leyton Orient.
Smith’s nomination is the second piece of good news to emerge from the Banks’s within the past 24 hours, after the club’s successful appeal of Andy Butler’s red card at Orient on Saturday.
The Saddlers performance – claiming a point despite playing for more than 70 minutes a man down – rightfully drew plenty of plaudits.
But while Smith acknowledges the spirit his side showed both on Saturday and during their recent good run, he believes their quality should not be overlooked.
“For me it’s not only team spirit but the quality we have,” he said.I have a really good squad of players at the moment and keeping them all happy is tough.”
It is the fifth time Smith has been nominated for the manager of the month award – with the previous four all coming last season. Smith won the award in January.
Preston’s Simon Grayson, Peterborough’s Darren Ferguson and Carlisle’s Graham Kavanagh are the other nominees.
And any debate over who will replace Butler in the middle of defence for Saturday’s visit of Bradford is now null and void, after the Saddlers’ decision to appeal his dismissal was vindicated.
The skipper had been facing a three-match ban after being shown a straight red card following a collision with Orient midfielder Romain Vincelot 17 minutes the game at Brisbane Road.
But an FA panel yesterday decided referee Graham Scott got the decision wrong.