Walsall vs Macclesfield: We’ll scrap to the end with anyone says Nicky Devlin
Defender Nicky Devlin has warned Walsall’s rivals they are ready to battle and scrap with anyone.
The Saddlers host Macclesfield tonight in the second round of the Carabao Cup as they look to continue what has been an outstanding start to the new campaign.
Dean Keates’ side have won five of their six games so far. That run includes back-to-back away victories at AFC Wimbledon and Rochdale in their last two outings.
In both those matches the Saddlers came under heavy pressure but battled brilliantly to claim all three points. And Devlin vowed the players are going to keep fighting to pick up points.
“I think the work ethic, the team spirit – that is why we got six points out of six at Wimbledon and Rochdale,” the Scotsman said.
“We didn’t actually play that well apart from a 20-minute spell at Wimbledon. We haven’t been at our best.
“But we are putting our bodies on the line. All the lads are putting in a real shift. I think that shows you what this team is all about.
“When we go to places that are hard to get results, we don’t have to play fantastically well.
“If teams want us to come and fight them, we will fight them.
“I think that is testament to every single player in the team.”
Walsall take on a Macclesfield side tonight who are currently adjusting to life in League Two after winning promotion last year. And Devlin is expecting a tough game.
“We are probably expected to beat them, but we are under no illusions,” the defender continued.
“They are going to make it very difficult for us. They won the National League last season and are no mugs. We need to perform to get through.”
If Walsall win, they could face a Premier League giant in the third round. But Devlin isn’t being dazzled by a glamour tie. “I want to go as far as we can – over the past few years, the club hasn’t had a great cup run,” he added.
“Don’t get me wrong, if we draw Man United or Liverpool, I won’t complain. But I’d rather get a team we are equal too and try and get through. But we’ve got a massive game against Macclesfield. Nobody is looking beyond that.”
Walsall (4-4-2): Dunn, Devlin, Fitzwater, Guthrie, Leahy, Wilson, Kinsella, Dobson, Morris, Gordon, Cook. Subs: Roberts, Cockerill-Mollett, Vann, Osbourne, Kouhyar, Sangha, Candlin.
Macclesfield: O’Hara, Evans, Kelleher, Grimes, Pearson, Whitaker, May- cock, Fitzpatrick, Napa, Blissett, Smith.
The Boss says:
'There are one or two walking wounded so one or two might come in and they have to stake their claim.'
Hector Sam and Scott Dann scored in a 2-0 win in September 2006. Walsall went on to win League Two.
Andy Cook scored for Tranmere in both league games against the Silkmen last season.