George Dobson: Walsall won’t fear giants of the Wear
They are currently in the thick of a gruelling run of games.
But George Dobson insists Walsall fear no-one as they prepare to take on Sunderland tomorrow.
The Saddlers travel to the Stadium of Light as one of 12 teams battling to avoid the drop from League One.
After a run of five straight defeats, Walsall turned the corner with impressive performances against Bradford, Burton and Fleetwood seeing them take seven points from nine.
But while they did enough to deserve a draw against Portsmouth, individual errors led to them slipping to a 3-2 defeat.
Now they take on the Black Cats before then hosting fellow automatic promotion hopefuls Barnsley at the Banks’s Stadium.
And while they are tough games on paper, Dobson is adamant Walsall have enough quality to get something from both matches.
“We went into the Portsmouth game full of confidence, we had been on a good run – getting seven points from nine,” he said.
“And the important thing is that confidence has not been dented.
“For us now it’s all about making sure we don’t go on a poor run.
“It’s about how we react and how we bounce back and there is nothing better than going and playing at Sunderland in front of thousands of people.
“We are now going into every game knowing there is nothing to fear.
“If we perform as we can we know we can beat anyone.
“We have played Sunderland three times this season and not lost yet. And we’re looking forward to going there and taking on a side that was in the Premier League not so long ago.”
Despite the game overall proving an even contest, Portsmouth found themselves with a three-goal cushion on Tuesday.
But Walsall fought back to get the scoreline back to 3-2. And Dobson believes that tells you a lot about the spirit of the side.
“Our heads didn’t drop even though that third goal was a real sucker-punch,” the midfielder continued.
“Coming from 3-0 down is obviously tough. But we didn’t give up.
“And I think that shows where the team is at. We are at that stage where we know we have to fight.
“We have to fight in the remaining nine games because they are massive, every point is massive because the league is so tight.
“We know we have to be right at it and we will be.”
Walsall will welcome top scorer Andy Cook back into the squad tomorrow after he completed his three game ban.
“It’s great to have Cookie back he gives you a completely different dimension,” Dobson added.
“He is unbelievable. Josh (Gordon) has been outstanding since Cookie has been out. Zeli (Ismail) has stepped up and we have Morgan (Ferrier) back which is a massive boost. We have got options up there now which is what we want.”