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Sam Mantom sees a fear factor for Walsall

Sport | Published:

Walsall's man-of-the-moment Sam Mantom is adamant Saddlers are a team to be feared once again.

They head into tonight's clash at Fleetwood with their confidence restored following a crushing 4-1 victory at Chesterfield on Saturday.

That victory ended a six-match winless run and ensured Jon Whitney began his reign as Walsall boss in style.

And now Mantom believes League One clubs will fear them once again as they bid to return to the free-flowing football that made them so successful earlier in the campaign.

He said: "After the result and performance against Chesterfield, teams will start looking at us as a threat.

"We showed that clinical edge and scored four goals – I think the last time we did that was Blackpool away back in August.

"I fancy us every time to outscore teams if we keep that energy and enthusiasm up. We showed against Chesterfield what Walsall is all about.

"We don't want to sit behind the ball, soak up pressure and try and hit teams on the counter.

"We want to attack, we want to score goals and we want to entertain the fans."

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Mantom was on target twice in the win at the Proact Stadium to take his tally for the season to an impressive eight goals in 34 games.

It was achieved after Whitney switched back to the 3-5-2 formation often used by Dean Smith earlier in the campaign.

And Mantom admits all the players were delighted to see the system return.

The 24-year-old said: "I think everyone had butterflies to get back to it. We genuinely can't remember the last time we played it.

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"But we love playing that system, it gives us a lot of freedom and we create a lot more chances.

"In the last few games before Chesterfield, I think we had become a little bit stuck – teams had worked us out.

"But against Chesterfield it was top drawer and I think it was a pleasure for the fans to watch.

"That's the type of performance we now have to put it every week, starting at Fleetwood."

Tonight's clash against the Cod Army will finally take place having previously been postponed twice due to a waterlogged pitch.

A victory will move the Saddlers up to third in League One – level on points with second-placed Wigan but with an inferior goal difference.

Whitney is expected to keep faith with the team that secured the win against the Spireites.

That means Jordy Hiwula, who netted against Danny Wilson's side, will continue to partner Tom Bradshaw up front /

Mantom delighted to see the striker back in the team, after he joined for second loan spell from Huddersfield.

He added: "Jordy has come in and given us that extra bit of quality in the final third. He is rapid. I don't like defending against him in training.

"His touch and awareness is outstanding. You can tell he has had a good upbringing at Manchester City.

"You can see from my second goal, the ball he played through was top quality.

"He's a really good signing for us and his goal record when he has been here has been excellent."

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