Walsall wizard Erhun Oztumer looking to cast his spell on Rochdale
Hat-trick hero Erhun Oztumer has urged Walsall to follow-up Saturday’s stellar win at Southend when they host Rochdale tonight.
The 3-0 win at Roots Hall propelled the Saddlers up to 13th in League One, seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Another win tonight, against a Dale team who currently prop up the rest of the division, would – at least for now – move Jon Whitney’s men into the top half of the table and within six points of the top six with 10 games remaining.
Oztumer said: “We have been talking about the run-in and how we can get the most points. We are trying to take every game as it comes.
“I feel like we can beat any team on our day. It’s 11 games to go and hopefully we can get as many points as we can.
“We have had an up and down season. We need to be more consistent. But like the gaffer said, we have got 11 games to go now – w are going to give it our all and see where we end up.
“Rochdale are down there. It’s going to be a very tough game. But we are at home, we have our fans behind us and we are confident of the win.”
Oztumer became the first player since Febian Brandy, in January 2014, to bag a hat-trick for the Saddlers. His second-half treble – the first of his senior career – came after Southend had enlisted the help of supporters to clear the pitch and ensure the game was one of only three in League One to go ahead, on a weekend when the weather decimated the schedule.
Oztumer said: “Thanks to them, we got three points!
“We came a day early, stayed in the hotel. We were prepared. It was a little bit different. We travelled earlier, we came down on Friday morning and that was better for us.
“We had more time to reflect and get ready for the game. I think that might have helped.
“I’m really delighted to get the hat-trick. The conditions weren’t easy. The three points were the most important thing but to score three goals is great, particularly away from home. It was a great feeling.”