James Baxendale on a high at Walsall

James Baxendale today vowed to wow the crowd after being handed a licence to thrill at Walsall.

James Baxendale
James Baxendale

The midfielder has been given the role as the Saddlers’ creator-in-chief after breaking into the side. He has scored twice in four games to propel Dean Smith’s men among the early League One front-runners ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.

And the 20-year-old said: “I’ve got a licence to go and try what I can because I know the lads are behind me and will back me all the way. You come and watch football all your life and you want to see players give their all for the lads and for the team. I’ve got the opportunity to do that and it’s what I want to do.

“Hopefully I can keep doing what I’m doing and the team carries on, which is what we all want.”

Baxendale’s goal in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Preston was his second in three games after his stunner in the win at Portsmouth.

And the ex-Doncaster man said he has been given the freedom to create by the spirit within the camp.

He said: “It’s a pleasure to play in because you know you can give any of the lads the ball and they are comfortable on it. Even at times when there’s a bit of pressure and we make a mistake we’re backing each other.

“The boys at the back give you a great foundation. They have been extremely consistent. Karl (Darlow) came in and did really well in goal and playing with a back four like that can only give you the licence up front.

“If we work as hard as we can higher up the pitch we can give them a break.

“This is a team who wants to do well and want to do well for each other. Nothing is talked about previous seasons.”