Walsall trio have time to impress

Three Walsall players on short-term contracts still have time to prove themselves as the club mulls over their future.

Luke Little, Jack Kiersey and Wes McDonald.
Luke Little, Jack Kiersey and Wes McDonald.

The Express & Star understands that the club is yet to reach a decision on Luke Little, Jack Kiersey and Wes McDonald, who are all believed to be out of contract in January.

Youth prospect Little joined Tamworth on a one-month loan last week, while Kiersey, who signed on a free transfer in the summer after being released by Everton, has been plagued with injuries in recent months.

McDonald, however, has proved an exciting talent on the wing, scoring and assisting in the September win over Crawley.

Speaking ahead of the Swindon match, manager Darrell Clarke said changes would be made in the transfer window.

“It can’t be wholesale changes, not in that situation, four or five tweaks here and there,” he said.

“Some players will inevitably have to be moved on and players to come in.

“I’ve been sensible with my budget that I’ve been given here and I’m still assessing and judging players.

“It doesn’t matter whether a player has been here for two or three years or if I signed him in the summer, if they’re not going to be the answer they’ll be told and we move on.

“I’ve played my budget very well.

“We’re not the big hitters of this league, I save plenty for rainy days to build in Jan.

“That’s the footballing world, success waits for no man so the pressure is always around the corner.

“ I’ve got to do better and my staff have to do better.

“It’s not about going out there and saying my players have to do this, we’ve got to make sure our performances our better.

“It’s not myself sitting here going it’s all my players fault, no chance.

“I’m on a bad run of form as a manager but I have to bite the bullet and get working on things.”

Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett echoed his manager’s comments, insisting that the club will make signings in January, but will not completely overhaul the squad.

“We’d look to enhance it in January but don’t look for wholesale changes because they won’t happen,” Pomlett added.

“We’re looking to enhance the squad but I can’t think of any chairman that would give you a different answer.

“We’ll be going into January and will I be perfectly happy with everything we’ve got? No.

“It’s the nature of the beast that you’re constantly looking to improve and take on new players as and when they become available.

“If we were top of the league I’d give you the same answer, if we were bottom of the league I’d definitely give you the same answer.”

Young striker Mitch Candlin, who is on-loan at Nuneaton, is also being monitored by Darrell Clarke and his staff.

The 19-year-old trained with Walsall yesterday ahead of the clash with Swindon.

“He’s on loan at Nuneaton and has done reasonably well,” Clarke added.

“He’s got a lot to do from what I’ve seen, to come in as a first team player.

“I know he did well when he first burst onto the scene but he’s got a lot to do, like a lot of my other players.

“Luke Little’s gone to Tamworth, we’ll keep monitoring it and we’ll see whether they’re ready for a step up.”

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