Express & Star

No change in tactics next season - Walsall boss Dean Smith

Dean Smith today insisted new players – and not a change in tactics – can give Walsall the killer touch next season.


The Saddlers finished the season with one of the lowest scoring records in League One and Smith has made clear his intention to rebuild his strike-force this summer.

But the manager believes there is no problem with the way his side attack. The Saddlers were criticised at times for a tendency to overplay but Smith said: "We had 17 attempts on goal in the last game against Colchester and they had four.

"If we want to change the way we play, then we might only create four chances.

"It's about players. If you get the right players in, then hopefully they will be taking the chances."

The Saddlers finished the season with just 49 goals in 46 league games and they scored only 21 times at home – a club-record low.

Smith has put finding a new centre-forward at the top of his agenda following his decision to release 16-goal top scorer Craig Westcarr but admits other players must start chipping in. Romaine Sawyers finished as the club's second highest scorer with seven goals.

"There's got to be more (goals) from other people certainly," he added. "I've said before with Romaine Sawyers it's his first full season and he's scored seven goals."

While there has plenty of focus on the forward line, Smith is currently negotiating with several defensive players who formed one of the division's meanest backlines.

Captain Andy Butler is out of contract along with full-backs Andy Taylor, James Chambers and Ben Purkiss. Smith was also on a scouting mission to Spain last week.

"There might be a couple who say we like you and you like us, let's get it sorted," he said.

The Saddlers have confirmed they will travel to Leamington for a pre-season friendly on July 26.

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