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Competition keeps Joe Edwards' fire burning at Walsall

Sport | Published:

Midfielder Joe Edwards believes the competition for places at Walsall is a big plus as they prepare to take on MK Dons.

The Saddlers travel to Buckinghamshire tomorrow where they will face a Dons side who are yet to win at home in League One this season.

Currently under the guidance of interim boss Richie Barker, the hosts have tasted victory just once in their last seven outings – with that win coming against non-league Spennymoor Town in the FA Cup.

Walsall crashed out of the world's oldest domestic cup competition with a shock 1-0 loss to Macclesfield last weekend.

But an experimental side bounced back in impressive fashion with a 1-0 win at Leicester in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday.

And now Edwards admits the team's more established stars have to put in a similar performance tomorrow – or risk losing their place in the side.

"Everyone was really disappointed with the result and performance against Macclesfield," the former Yeovil man said. "A lot of players who didn't play in that game came in on Tuesday and they really took their chance. They were brilliant.

"Now it's competition for places. And if some of the players from the Macclesfield game are restored, they know they have to perform and show the same reaction.

"But that is only a good thing. Everyone is determined to go to Milton Keynes and get a result that will propel us into the top eight.

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"We can then use that as a springboard to get into the top six."

Before the FA Cup loss, the Saddlers were unbeaten in their last six outings. And Edwards insists that run still gives them a lot of belief.

"We are going into the game tomorrow full of confidence," he continued.

"We're in great form with the exception of that defeat in the FA Cup.

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"MK Dons are struggling a little bit. But we know the quality they have got and it's always a tough game there.

"You hope it's not their day to turn it around.

"But we will go there determined to come away with all three points.

"All the ingredients are here for a successful season. We have got players that can win us games and a keeper who can keep us in games. For me, we have got everything. It's just making sure we stay consistent."

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