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Darryl Westlake's chance will come

Sport | Published:

Dean Smith today handed Darryl Westlake a huge vote of confidence and insisted he will have an impact in Walsall's survival race.

Dean Smith today handed Darryl Westlake a huge vote of confidence and insisted he will have an impact in Walsall's survival race.

The right-back has been axed by boss Smith as the Saddlers' safety bid gathers pace. New-boy Tom Williams has replaced him - allowing Aaron Lescott to return to the right - as Smith hunted more experience in defence.

But the boss said Westlake, who turned 20 on Tuesday and has made 26 appearances this term, will make his mark.

"He's got a big future, he's come a long way in short space of time," said Smith.

"Darryl has had a great run and I thought it was time for him to come out and have a rest. He will have a big part to play still because he's come on as a player, especially under me. He looks a much better playerand he'll learn from the experiences.

"I spoke to him and if the two full-backs hadn't done well in the last two games then Darryl would be back in. That's what I want, competition for places. I've had difficult decisions to make because I've had a full squad for the first time but that's what being a football manager is about.

"I felt the changes gave us more balance and Tom has got the experience as well. The experience will help but I have no qualms in putting Darryl back in."

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