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Oztumer: Walsall aiming for top six

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall's Erhun Oztumer insists team success – rather than individual honours – is his only target heading into the new season.

Erhun Oztumer

The 26-year-old, who joined the Saddlers from Peterborough in June 2016, enjoyed his best season as a professional last year when he netted 15 goals for Jon Whitney's side.

Oztumer will be part of the Walsall side that kicks off the 2017/18 campaign at Bury on Saturday.

But while keen to improve on his success last year, the creative schemer says his primary goal is to ensure Walsall compete for a place in the top six.

"I haven’t set any individual targets for goals because my main thing is the play-offs," Oztumer said.

"I want us to get into that top six and do well as a team.

"It’s not all about goals. I got six assists last year. Maybe I could get 15 assists but not score as many.

"It would still be a big contribution to the team. For me, it's all about helping the team win."

Traditionally a number 10, Oztumer revealed he has been working hard to ensure he can influence a game all over the pitch.

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"I’m still a number 10 but the gaffer has told me to be involved in the game as much possible," he continued.

"That could mean dropping in deep or running in behind.

"I’m just going to see how a game develops. Sometimes I’m going to need to stretch it and sometimes I’m going to need to be in that pocket.

"Hopefully if I am getting man-marked I can try to lose them.

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"Last season the gaffer started playing me higher up the field and in pre-season I’ve tried to add to it.

"I feel really strong and hopefully I can score loads of goals and create loads of goals as well.”

With the season now just a few days away, Oztumer said all the players are itching to get started.

"All we can think about is Bury and 3pm Saturday – we can't wait," he added.

"We're excited. We just want to get into that tunnel, face up to our opponents and get started."

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ

West Bromwich Albion reporter.

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