Liam Kinsella: Walsall targeting top half
Defender Liam Kinsella believes Walsall have a huge opportunity to end any talk of relegation and move into the top half of League One.
The Saddlers, who beat MK Dons last weekend, travel to face Blackpool tomorrow before taking on Doncaster and Gillingham next week.
On paper, all three of those games look winnable for Jon Whitney’s side.
And Kinsella thinks it’s important he and his team-mates seize the chance to move into the top half of the table.
“Confidence among the players is really high going into Blackpool,” the full-back said. “It was a good win against MK Dons but now we have got Blackpool, Doncaster and Gillingham.
“They are all around us in the table. They are all winnable games.
“And it’s up to us now to go out and beat them and push ourselves up the table to where we belong.
“We believe we are good enough to be in the top 10.
“But it’s up to us to go out and prove it. These next three games are a big opportunity for us.”
Kinsella is in line to make his 21st appearance of the season at Bloomfield Road.
And the Republic of Ireland youth international admits he has been pleased with his form since nailing down a place at right-back.
“I try to take things day by day and not get carried away but I’m playing every game and enjoying it,” the 21-year-old said. “Overall I have been really happy with my performances.
“There have been a few games where you look back and feel you could have done better. But the important thing is to not be too hard on yourself because the games come thick and fast.”
Kinsella watched on transfer deadline day as Walsall bolstered their squad by snapping up Julien Ngoy, Jack Fitzwater and Krystian Bielik.
Justin Shaibu also arrived just days before the window closed – with Kinsella believing the players have given the team some much-needed competition.
“There is a real battle for places now,” he continued. “Me and Nicky (Devlin) are always competing for that right-back spot.
“Julien and Justin have come in up front. Ngoy got his goal and hopefully, that will push on all the strikers to get more goals.
“Jack Fitzwater was also outstanding on his debut against MK Dons.
“He has fitted in really well, as have all the loanees.”
Whitney too admitted his team are currently in a crunch run of games.
“We said before MK Dons how important this run of games is,” the boss said. “It was a hammer blow we inflicted on MK. They could have moved level with us on points.
“But instead we increased the gap to six points which is quite significant at this stage of the
“Now it’s on to the next mini-battle which is Blackpool. They are a little bit inconsistent like ourselves but we are going there in confident mood.
“The new additions have had another week to settle in.
“Gary Bowyer will have his team motivated to try and stop us getting any points.
“But we are confident we can go there, be nice and solid and resolute and get a performance.”