Dean Smith today admitted nothing short of Walsall’s best is good enough to get results in League One this season.
This Saturday’s trip to MK Dons is the latest in a run of fixtures against clubs with promotion aspirations for the Saddlers.
Smith’s side served notice of their own potential by beating Swindon, though it was followed up by a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Coventry.
The manager believes the standard in the division has now reached a level where teams need to be on top of their game, week-in, week-out.
“It’s a really tough league but I think that is the beauty of it,” said Smith.
“The players want to be playing in these games because they are really good games to be playing in, against strong sides.
“It is a very competitive league this year and you have to be at your best to get anything.
“At the moment we are playing well and getting results but we have to be consistent to keep doing that.
“We are always consistent in what we are doing on the training pitch, and the players are taking it into games at the moment.”
The Saddlers will head into Saturday’s game with plenty of confidence thanks to their impressive away record. They have won four of seven on the road so far, including the eye-catching win at Swindon, while the Dons have lost five of their last six and were beaten by Carlisle in their last outing at Stadium MK.
Smith believes his side’s ability to keep possession has been key to their away day success.
“When they are at home teams at home are expected to come at you. We certainly have a lot of pace and power in the team, a lot of energy and a lot of good footballers,” he said.
“We are good at keeping the ball and you certainly frustrate a lot of home supporters when you go and keep the ball.”
“I think then players get frustrated because of the crowd and when they get frustrated, that is when we can open them up.”