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Erhun Oztumer: Being dropped by Walsall has improved me

Sport | Published:

Erhun Oztumer believes he benefited from his brief spell out of the Walsall team.

The creative schemer has become a fans' favourite at the Banks's Stadium since joining on a free transfer in the summer.

Oztumer notched his 11th goal of the season as Jon Whitney's side secured victory over Northampton on Saturday.

But the number 10 had to make do with a place on the substitutes' bench for four games at the turn of the year, as Whitney switched to a 4-4-2 formation.

Oztumer though believes his spell on the sidelines helped him improve as a player.

"Every player wants to start," he said. "But we've got a squad of 25 people so there are always going to be players left out.

"It's one of those things. Being out of the team can be a good thing if you use it to your advantage. The gaffer wants me to stay as high as possible and affect the game in the final third.

"While I was out the team I watched from the sideline to learn what I had to do. And now I've got back in the side I feel I am performing."

At the start of the season, Oztumer set himself a target to score 10 goals over the course of the campaign. And now he is hoping to continue his hot streak in a bid to fire Walsall into the play-offs.

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"My target before the season was 10," the 25-year-old continued. "Before the Northampton game it was 11. So now it's 12.

"I was pleased with the goal on Saturday because it was my first with my right foot.

"The important thing though is for the team to keep winning. Obviously I want to be scoring goals. But we are four points off the play-offs now and that is target – to finish in that top six.

"We are climbing the table and we believe everything is still to play for.

"It's a confident squad. It's a great place to be and now we can't wait for the Bolton game because we are on a great run and full of confidence."

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