Walsall vs Northampton preview: Caolan Lavery loves learning from assistant Marcus Stewart

Walsall striker Caolan Lavery says the influence of assistant manager Marcus Stewart is helping the strikers click this campaign.

Caolan Lavery celebrates with Josh Gordon
Caolan Lavery celebrates with Josh Gordon

Former Premier League striker Stewart has been working with the club’s forwards all season and has been integral in the partnership between Lavery and Josh Gordon this season.

With both strikers now hitting 10 goals in all competitions, 27-year-old Lavery will be hoping that partnership flourishes when the Saddlers host Northampton Town tomorrow.

“He’s (Stewart) been good, it’s always nice to hear someone who’s played at the top level,” he said.

“Josh, Elijah (Adebayo), Rory (Gaffney) and I will stay out after training and do finishing with him.

“It’s little chances, little scuffed shots where he’ll stop you and say ‘what do you think about doing this?’

“It’s valuable experience because he’s done it at the top level and every situation so you’ve got to listen to what he’s saying.”

The lack of a natural right winger in the squad – bar 18-year-old Jack Nolan – has meant that Gordon has played there at times this season.

Fans have become frustrated when Lavery and Gordon have been split up but the former believes Gordon is capable applying himself to whatever position he is asked to play.

“He offers a lot on the wing as well I think he’s scored three or four goals from that wide position so its not that he’s not getting chances or scoring goals,” Lavery added.

“As a two up front I think we cause a lot of problems so it just depends on the game and who we’re going to play.

“Where he’s going to play is the gaffer’s decision so Josh will tell you himself that he’s happy to play out there and do a job for the team.

“There are probably games that we’ve not won and people will look at it and think ‘oh he’s wasted out there’ but who’s to say it would have been different if there was two of us up front.

“Like I said before, he’s scored goals out there and it all depends on the game and the tactics that each team plays so I don’t think that he is wasted out there – but he might tell you something different.

“It’s going well, we get on off the pitch as well which helps and we seem to be doing alright on the pitch so long may it continue.”

Meanwhile, manager Darrell Clarke has hailed his first choice forwards.

“Lavery and Gordon are a very decent strike partnership at League Two level,” he said.

“They’re building a good partnership together and hopefully that keeps going and we’ll keep improving that.

“For me, Lavery is a player that gets in the right positions nine times out of 10, he’s capable to go and score 20 goals.

“Sometimes players need to have a better understanding of his runs, he can get a little bit frustrated when he doesn’t get the ball.

“He needs to keep working at his game – I think he’s the best finisher at the club.

“He’ll grow through the course of his time here.”

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