Competition keeping Walsall's Kieron Morris on his toes
Kieron Morris believes competition for places is bringing the best out of him as he battles to keep his place in Walsall’s starting XI.
The 24-year-old has appeared 85 times for the Saddlers over the past two seasons but he was forced to begin the 2018/19 campaign on the bench following the arrivals of Josh Ginnelly and Zeli Ismail.
Both those wingers have suffered minor knocks in recent weeks – with Morris then stepping into seize his chance.
As well as helping the Saddlers to wins over Gillingham and Rochdale, Morris also netted spectacular goals against AFC Wimbledon and Macclesfield.
And he feels the arrival of Ginnelly and Ismail has helped keep him on his toes.
“I think that competition for places has helped me,” Morris said.
“When you know you have got competition on your hands it makes a difference – particularly mentally.
“You have got to perform. Because if you don’t, other players will take your place.
“Maybe last year, I thought I’d be starting so I didn’t really have that challenge against someone else.
“But now I’ve got a fight on my hands, I know there are other wingers in the team who will take my place if I’m not performing.”
Both Ginnelly and Ismail enjoyed flying starts to the season and Morris admitted it was hard watching them shine from the bench.
“The way Zeli and Josh were playing – I knew if I got my chance I’d have to take it,” he continued.
“I was out of the team for those first few games, they were performing – and it’s not nice to be on the bench.
“I knew if there was an injury I would get my chance. It’s only been little niggles and knocks but I feel I’ve come in and taken my chance.”
Having already scored two thunderbolts this season, Morris now wants more.
“People keep tellong me I need to shoot more often because of the power in my strikes,” he added.
“I need to get more shots off, I’ve been trying to do that in the past few games and it’s starting to pay off.”