Walsall's Romaine Sawyers backs 'healthy competition'

Romaine Sawyers reckons Walsall’s players are ready to put team ambition ahead of personal pride as the play-off race intensifies.

Walsall FC striker Romaine Sawyers
Walsall FC striker Romaine Sawyers

The Saddlers face a six-pointer in the race for the top six when they travel to Peterborough tomorrow night.

Dean Smith bolstered his attacking options with the loan signings of Febian Brandy and Michael Ngoo during the January transfer window and Sawyers admits this has added extra competition to the forward line.

“It’s healthy competition,” he said. “Everyone wants to play week in, week out, but if it means dropping out of the team and coming back in the team and at the end of the season everyone is winning, that’s the main thing.”

“Everyone is aiming for the same goal, whether you are playing 20 minutes or 90 minutes, featuring for one or two games and then going out. We all have to share the load.

“As long as the 11 or 14 who are selected in each game do the job we’ll be happy.”

Sawyers feelings were echoed by 20-year-old left-back Mal Benning, who is hoping to keep his place in defence following Andy Taylor’s return to fitness. Benning has started the past three games and said: “It’s going to be tough for the manager (to choose) but it’s like that all over the pitch. There are positions where people are pushing to come into the team.

“If we want to get promoted or get in the play-offs, it’s a team effort – and everyone thinks that the team comes before them.”

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson has added to his side’s forward line ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with the signing of versatile attacker Josh McQuoid on loan from Championship outfit Bournemouth.

The Posh are a place and two points ahead of the Saddlers in sixth place and also have a game in hand. Tomorrow’s game kicks off a run of 11 games in which Smith’s side will face all the main top six contenders ahead of the final five game run-in.