Walsall's Dean Smith ready to halt Leyton Orient

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Walsall stand in the way of the "Orient express" this weekend convinced they have what it takes to stop it.

Runaway League One leaders Leyton Orient made it eight wins out of eight matches last night with a 2-0 victory at Brentford that gives them a five-point lead over Peterborough and Wolves at the top of the table.

Russell Slade's outfit will endeavour to make it a perfect nine at Brisbane Road on Saturday when they face a Saddlers team buoyed by their own recent away form which has brought back-to-back victories at Crewe and Wolves.

Saddlers boss Dean Smith will be making plans for the clash after watching Orient make the vital breakthrough from the penalty spot at Griffin Park before sealing victory with a late second.

Seventh-placed Saddlers are picking up where they left off last season despite the loss of their three top scorers in the summer.

Smith will have a full complement of forwards from which to choose and although he was rested at the weekend for the Rotherham game, Ashley Hemmings is a fan of the 'rotation' policy.

"We are more confident now, the system is working for us," said Hemmings.

"The three in the middle are absolutely bossing it and Troy (Hewitt) and Westy (Craig Westcarr) and myself have a bit more freedom.

"Everything isn't so close together and it's suiting us. I think there is definitely a good rotation up front.


"Troy is an out-and-out striker. He likes to stay up front and try to turn the defenders and it's good playing off him.

"There are also players who can come off the bench and do well too – the likes of James (Baxendale) and Romaine (Sawyers).

"We have players in the team who can shoot and players who can come off the bench. But we know when we are closing in on goal we need to shoot more."

Stirker Hewitt sees the Orient clash as an opportunity for the team to make even more waves.

"As far as we're concerned, the sky's the limit," he says. "We're not going to start talking about wanting to finish first or fifth or whatever – we just want to be as good as we can be.

"Wolves had not lost until we beat them and we certainly know we are a good enough team to go down to Orient and get a result."

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