Scott Laird: Walsall must play without fear
Scott Laird says Walsall must continue to play without fear if they are to beat Shrewsbury and stay in League One.
The Saddlers head to Shropshire on Saturday still in with a chance of avoiding relegation following a thumping 3-0 win over Peterborough last weekend.
That result and performance were in stark contrast to their previous outings where they underperformed against Accrington, Southend and Wycombe.
But Laird says taking the shackles of and playing without fear was the key to their turnaround.
And he has now challenged his team-mates to go again, with the Saddlers needing to beat Shrewsbury and hope results elsewhere go in their favour.
“Win and I believe we will have a great chance of staying up,” the defender said.
“We just have to play with the right attitude which is taking the shackles off and having a go.
“We have got to replicate the Peterborough performance now. I know we can.
“It’s about releasing ourselves and having a go. That is what we said in the changing room before the Peterborough game – let’s just go and play how we want to play. We did and it led to us beating a very good Peterborough side.”
Speaking after the Posh win, both interim manager Martin O’Connor and defender Nicky Devlin expressed their frustration that the Saddlers hadn’t performed like that in recent weeks.
And while Laird is equally frustrated, he said the important thing is they still have a shot at survival.
“In some ways, you are asking why didn’t we play like that 10/15 games ago because it is there,” the 30-year-old continued. “That is what we are capable of, we showed what we can really do.
“It’s just a shame it’s taken until now.
“But the good things is it hasn’t come when we are down, we are still in with a chance.
“We just have to do it again.”
Laird has featured six times for the Saddlers since joining the club on loan for a second time in January.
And he admitted it was a special feeling for him to start and get an assist last weekend.
“The win really meant a lot to me,” he added.
“I think I can help Walsall, I felt I did on Saturday, I just wish I could have done it more since I’ve been back here.
“To win 3-0 and with that performance meant was a special moment for me.
“I didn’t really want to walk off at the end.
“Now we’ve got one more game and if I’m picked I will do everything I can.”