Marcus Stewart wants to get strikers firing at Walsall
Marcus Stewart is hoping to bring out the Championship potential of Walsall’s strikers.
The former Sunderland, Ipswich, Huddersfield and Bristol Rovers forward has become an assistant coach at the Saddlers, along with Brian Dutton. And having worked with Bristol City’s Matty Taylor, Preston’s Billy Bodin and Ipswich’s Ellis Harrison, he hopes to get the Walsall frontline firing to similar heights.
“All those guys had the ability to listen and the willingness to learn when things were put in place,” said Stewart, who – like Dutton – previously worked under manager Darrell Clarke at Bristol Rovers. “If the lads that are here now, and there might be one or two more that come in, have the ability to do that and the willingness then I am there to help them out.”
Stewart helped Clarke lead Rovers back up to League One following relegation out of the EFL, with Dutton then joining in March 2017.
With numerous players released this summer, Walsall are embarking on a similar rebuild job – and Stewart believes they need to target some experienced old heads.
“There are a few young lads who are still in contract who are a good age, 23, 24 and 25,” he said. “That is a good age but we know we need a few experienced players – they are the most important ones to bring in.
“They’re the type of players that if you get the right ones, they can drive the group when you’re not around and add value in different ways.
“We know what we have to bring in with those guys but over the next three or four weeks, we have got to get a few players in.
“It’s a clean slate and the right people will come in, that’s for sure.”
While Stewart and Dutton have joined the backroom staff, the Saddlers yesterday confirmed first-team coach Andy Davies, goalkeeping Michael Oakes, strength & conditioning coach Nick Barnett, chief scout Gary Jenkins and John Ward will be leaving the club.
Academy manager Graham Biggs is also departing, while Mark Bradley will return to his role as first-team strength & conditioning coach after 12 months with the academy.