Dean Smith today claimed improved pitches are contributing to better football in League One.
The number of teams have caught the eye this season for trying to implement an attractive passing style which is a million miles from the division’s long-ball stereotype.
Smith, who has always been keen for the Saddlers to play with the ball on the ground, believes the change is partly down to the success enjoyed by Bournemouth last season.
And he feels an improved standard of playing surface is also encouraging managers to change their tactics. Walsall upgraded the Banks’s Stadium pitch over the summer.
“There are a lot of teams getting the ball down and playing in League One now,” he said. “Sheffield United tried it under David Weir and I’m sure it will be the same under Nigel Clough.
“The teams near the top of the division have all been trying to play. I think the pitches helps now because they are a lot better than they used to be.
“Teams are playing their way out of this league as was shown last year with Bournemouth.
“There are a lot of managers who have gone into clubs who believe football should be played that way. They are putting their mark down.”