Dean Smith today played down any fears over Walsall’s home form and insisted his stars relish playing at the Banks’s.
The Saddlers host Bradford City tomorrow looking to record their first win in front of their home supporters since the 3-1 opening day win over Tranmere Rovers.
Smith’s men have since been held to 1-1 draws by Notts County and Rotherham, while they were beaten 3-0 by Preston. But when asked about their home form, Smith pointed out the Preston defeat is their only one at the Banks’s since November last year.
And he believes increased competition in League One this season has been a factor in their failure to add to the opening day success.
“The home performances, with the exception of Preston, have been very good,” said Smith. “We have not got the results but I’ve always said the performance is the main thing.
“If the performance is right, the results will come.
“At the Banks’s we have lost only one game in a year and we have played some really good football there.
“I said right from the off, it’s a tougher league this season. Teams won’t just come and roll over, you have to be at your best.”
On their travels, the Saddlers have picked up three wins and claimed a Capital One Cup victory at Port Vale. At the Banks’s, they have seen their passing game stifled but Smith does not believe his players are finding it any harder to play at home.
“I think it’s just the quality of the opposition. The quality you are up against is tough,” he said. “We should have seen off Notts County, we had enough chances to win that game.
“We had some chances late on against Rotherham but they have proved what a strong team they are. It was an off-day against Preston but we love playing at the Banks’s Stadium, it’s our home and the players know they are hard to beat there.”
Bradford sit fifth in League One, three points and four places ahead of Smith’s men. But their top scorer Nakhi Wells is out with a knee ligament injury.