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Dean Smith expects better from strikers

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Boss Dean Smith has backed Walsall's misfiring forwards to be more prolific in front of goal next season.

The likes of Anthony Forde, Romaine Sawyers, James Baxendale and Jordan Cook all failed to find the target more than five times during the 2014-15 campaign.

Those struggles meant the Saddlers finished last year as the sixth lowest scorers in League One.

But Smith believes his attacking stars, including new recruit Milan Lalkovic, all have the ability to hit double figures in the upcoming campaign.

He said: "We know we didn't score as many goals as we should have last season. We are looking to change that and bringing in Milan gives us another dimension.

"But Romaine knows his goal return last season didn't reflect his performances, he knows he has to do better. With a full pre-season we are also going to see the best of Jordan Cook.

"We can't just all sit here and hope Tom Bradshaw is going to score 20 goals again. As good as Tom is, he will be a marked man. But there is a lot of potential in all those forward players.

"Sam Mantom also needs to be chipping in and the centre-backs need to be getting more goals as well.

"From all areas of the pitch we need more goals, that is aim - to score more and become a more entertaining team."

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Meanwhile, Doncaster defender Liam Wakefield is widely reported to be the man Smith handed a trial in the match against Rushall Olympic on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old is believed to have been offered a six-month deal at the Keepmoat Stadium but is thought to be looking for a longer deal elsewhere.

It is not known whether Wakefield is the defender Smith said will feature in the Saturday's home friendly with Villa.

Before that game, the Walsall Football Supporters Trust will be selling wristbands in memory of Saddlers' fan Joel Richards who died in the Tunisia terrorist attacks.

A minimum donation of £1 is requested for each band with all proceeds going to Joel's family.

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