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Walsall captain comforts Jonny Brain

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Walsall captain Darren Byfield has backed goalkeeper Jonny Brain to hold on to the number one shirt despite his horror show at Rochdale.

Walsall captain Darren Byfield has backed goalkeeper Jonny Brain to hold on to the number one shirt despite his horror show at Rochdale.

Two glaring blunders from Brain saw the Saddlers slip to a 3-2 defeat at Spotland on Saturday, but skipper Byfield insists Brain has the character to put it behind him.

He said: "I feel sorry for 'Brainy.' I said to him at half-time and after the game that he's saved us so many times this season and he's going to do that again. He let the goals in but he's just got to keep going. He'll bounce back.

"The position he plays in, if you make a mistake you're going to get hammered for it.

"Last weekend I missed three chances but that's the end of it, people don't go on about it - while Jonny's going to get a bit of stick.

"But he's been around a while, he's not a young keeper so he'll bounce back.

"He was blaming himself at the end of the game, he kept saying it over and over and the lads told him to just leave it, as he'll save us again this season,

"It could be next weekend."

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Byfield admitted that frustration over the goals gifted to Rochdale had played a part in his own 35-yard strike, an early entry for Walsall's goal of the season.

He added: "It was an angry strike, we had just conceded and were 2-1 down. I'd lost the ball, ran around trying to win it back - I was either going to get booked for a tackle or I was just going to absolutely hit it and thankfully it went in.

"But those goals feel much better when you've got three points out of the game and we didn't do that.

"But we've got to take encouragement from it - the goals we conceded are not going to happen every weekend.

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"I thought we played well - they didn't look like scoring and it was two mistakes and a penalty.

"We've got Swindon at home this weekend and if we take that performance and cut out the mistakes, we'll win.

"We've lost four in a row but you have to look at the performances - if we had played like we did against Milton Keynes Dons and got beaten then OK, but we played well and were unlucky.

"You probably won't see three mistakes like those that happened on Saturday for the rest of the season."

Walsall manager Chris Hutchings also refused to comment on whether the club would be offering a deal to trialist Bryan Hughes, the former Birmingham midfielder.

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