Former Walsall striker Will Grigg hopes his old side stay up
He scored the goal that put Walsall in the relegation zone.
But ex-Saddler Will Grigg is adamant Walsall have enough quality to stay in League One this year.
The Solihull-born star – who moved to Sunderland in a £4million deal back in January – was given his break in professional football when he signed a scholarship at the Banks’s Stadium in 2008.
After a number of years in and around the first team, Grigg shot to fame in the 2012/13 campaign when he scored 20 goals in 45 matches.
That form led to him being crowned Walsall’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season.
Since his departure though, Grigg has often come back to haunt his former side.
Last season he netted a brace for Wigan as the Latics secured a 2-0 win over Walsall at the DW Stadium.
Then on Saturday, the forward scored with a neat finish from 20-yards to earn the Black Cats victory at the Stadium of Light.
But while Grigg is now a thorn in Walsall’s side, he says he will be cheering the club on from afar as they battle to avoid relegation.
“I absolutely loved my time at Walsall,” the Northern Ireland international said.
“I came through the youth system there and I have lots of fond memories.
“I always thank the people who were there and who helped me with my development.
“We went through a lot of managers but they were all great with me and I’m really grateful.
“I tend to score against Walsall now. Last time I played against them I got a brace.
“And then this time I got the winner.
“But I was speaking to a few Walsall fans before the game and they were absolutely brilliant.
“They are always so friendly.
“I loved my time at the club and it was sad to have to score against them.
“But that is my job, it’s part and parcel of football and I’m paid to score goals.”
Having watched Walsall’s recent games, Grigg believes Dean Keates’s side has the quality to be a League One team next year.
“I always look out for Walsall’s results,” the 27-year-old continued.
“The club has a place in my heart.
“I definitely, definitely don’t want to see them go down. It’s a great club with fantastic fans.
“And from what I have seen from the last few games they are going to be okay.
“It was a really tough game for us on Saturday.
“I’ve seen the clips from the last four or five games and they have been playing well.
“And there are not many teams who come to the Stadium of Light and give us such a tough time.
“They put is under pressure. I saw their qualities, you can see they are fighting hard.”