Dean Smith today urged Walsall fans to play their part in tomorrow’s derby clash with Coventry City.
A red-hot atmosphere is anticipated with more than 2,100 travelling fans making the journey up the M6 to the Banks’s, for the closest fixture they will play to their home city all season.
The Saddlers should also be able to count on an increased home support following Tuesday’s thrilling 3-1 win at Swindon Town which moved them into the League One top six.
Coventry, who began the season on minus-10 points, became the first team to beat league leaders Leyton Orient that night and Smith believes tomorrow’s game could not be better set up.
“They are on a really good run of form and if it weren’t for the 10-point deduction they would be right up there,” said Smith.
“There will be a big crowd, it’s a derby and the closest game for their fans this season.
“I’d hope we will get a few more in on our side too and it has all the makings of a great atmosphere and an entertaining game.”
City were hit with the pre-season points penalty after failing to agree a CVA to exit administration.
At one stage in the summer it looked like the Sky Blues might be playing their home fixtures at the Banks’s because of an as yet unresolved rent dispute with the Ricoh Arena.
They eventually ended up at Northampton, but have been watched there by paltry crowds, due to a boycott by supporters furious at the move.
Despite turmoil off the pitch, on it Steven Pressley’s side have looked top-six material and Smith is not surprised.
Smith said: “Steven has gone there in difficult circumstances and done a great job. He’s got them playing the right way. What they’ve done so far has not surprised me because I know what a good youth set-up they have.”
Smith has a full squad to choose from for the game, though Coventry midfielder Connor Thomas faces a late fitness test.