Martin O’Connor keeps Walsall focus
Martin O’Connor insists he hasn’t thought about landing the Walsall job on a permanent basis as he prepares for today’s crunch six-pointer at Accrington.
The 51-year-old has been put in caretaker charge of the Saddlers for the final five games of the season following the dismissal of Dean Keates.
Now tasked with keeping the club in League One, O’Connor will surely be in contention to land the job on a full-time basis if Walsall stay up.
But the former midfielder says his only focus at the minute is keeping the club in the division.
“I’ve not even thought about it,” O’Connor said when asked if he wants to be the next Walsall manager.
“I haven’t really thought about the Southend game.
“I’m preparing myself and the team for Accrington.
“The boys know how I feel. We have had a good couple of days training.
“The club is not of the mindset that we are relegated. We’re focused on staying up.
“The club want to stay in the division, along with the players, along with myself, along with the fans.
“If we are all in that position, surely that gives us a chance to get some better performances which will get us better results and which will keep our League One status.”
With Walsall having lost each of their last five games, O’Connor has tried to lift the spirits of the players in training this week.
“Players need confidence and they need belief,” the interim boss continued.
“Modern players unfortunately need that reassurance.
“In my day, you knew how well you played. You didn’t need a heart rate monitor to tell you.
“That is old school but I think it’s relevant now.
“I think the boys, over the last few days, have shown to me and to themselves that they can play.
“And we are going to go to Accrington with confidence irrespective of the previous form.
“It’s not a clean slate but they know what is required.
“They know how I feel about them and how I feel about the club.”