Fearless Westlake fires up Saddlers

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Darryl Westlake today backed a Walsall revival and insisted the Saddlers' underdog tag leaves them fearless.

Darryl Westlake today backed a Walsall revival and insisted the Saddlers' underdog tag leaves them fearless.

The right-back believes it's only a matter of time before the team pull themselves out of the League One drop zone after Sunday's shock win at Charlton.

They host Southampton – another big hitter – on Saturday knowing a win could move them to within two points of the safety line.

Chris Hutchings' men are are still second bottom but Westlake said the plucky Saddlers don't fear anyone.

"We shouldn't get scared in this league, especially where we are. We need to get the wins and if you're scared you shouldn't be playing," said the 19-year-old.

"Because of where we are we've got nothing to lose, we're going into every game as underdogs so we just need the wins.

"We're close, definitely, things are going to click soon. We're putting in good performances but just need to cut out the individual mistakes. Hopefully we can get those wins and get up the table."

Westlake has made 13 appearances this term after forcing his way back into the team following a stuttering start.


He impressed in the 1-0 victory at The Valley – only the Saddlers' second away win this season – and is determined to keep his spot.

He said: "I love playing, being young the other payers are helping me but I know I have to take on board everything they say and the gaffer and Martin (O'Connor) tell me so just keep learning every game."

Westlake is a poster boy for successful youth team graduates and the class of 2010 go to Carlisle in the FA Youth Cup second round tonight.

The winners of the twice-postponed tie face a trip to Millwall in the third round and head of youth Dean Smith has called on his kids to take their chance.

"The Youth Cup gives the lads a real chance to impress," he said. "I always tell the lads the Cup games are the ones I like them to win. In the Cup games it's about getting the result and hopefully the guys can go up to Carlisle and get through."

Meanwhile, Walsall's Boxing Day hosts, Bristol Rovers, today sacked manager Paul Trollope. The Pirates are 21st in League One, two places above the Saddlers.

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