Paul Downing: One win will change Saddlers

Defender Paul Downing believes Walsall’s season is just one win away from taking off.

paul downing

The Saddlers headed to Scunthorpe today looking to record their first victory in League One this term.

Stopper Downing believes that, should they get it, more will quickly follow.

“If we get that one win we are going to go on a run, I’m sure of it,” he said. “We will take-off.”

Manager Dean Smith has called for his new-look squad to be given more time to prove themselves after taking just three points from the opening four league fixtures.

And Downing agrees that patience will be key, saying: "I think it is a case of keeping believing in what we are doing, staying patient and having a good shape about us, which we did at Leyton Orient last week.

“If we make sure we are solid at the back I’m sure we have players in the team who will eventually find the net.”

Smith has brought in eight new players over the summer in a bid to make the Saddlers genuine promotion contenders.

Most of those have come on the forward line with Mathieu Manset – who signed earlier this week – joining fellow newcomers Tom Bradshaw, Ashley Grimes and Jordan Cook.

So far the Saddlers, who struggled for goals last term, have netted just twice in the league but Downing believes given time the goals will come.

“I think, having been here last year, we have definitely improved as a team and we have better players now,” he said.

“The gaffer has strengthened in the attacking area and it is only a matter of time.

“As soon as we get that first win our confidence will kick off and we will start banging them in.

"As long as we are solid at the back I think we will win games because we will start scoring.”

Meanwhile, Reece Flanagan has hailed the club’s welcoming environment which he feels his helping to nurture young players like himself.

The 19-year-old midfielder has made his first senior appearances with substitute showings in the past two games.

“This club puts a lot of confidence in you as a young player," he said.

"The environment is great and you will always get an opportunity here. It’s a great place to develop your game and come through the ranks.

“The next target for me is to be starting more games rather than coming off the bench to try and influence games.

“That will ultimately be down to the gaffer and his team selection but I will always be ready to play."