Walsall striker Caolan Lavery keen to take the game to struggling Boro

Caolan Lavery insists Walsall want to ‘impose’ themselves on Stevenage and leave Hertfordshire tomorrow with three points.

Caolan Lavery
Caolan Lavery

It has been a hectic week for Walsall after losing manager Darrell Clarke to Port Vale on Monday and immediately appointing his assistant Brian Dutton as the new boss until the end of the season.

Just 24 hours later he faced Cheltenham Town, in a 2-1 loss, and now makes his first away trip as head coach.

Lavery, who netted in midweek, is likely to keep his place and although he is expecting a tough test the striker is aware of the importance of getting the three points.

“Every game in this division is tough, it doesn’t matter where teams are sitting,” Lavery said. “On the day you never know what’s going to happen.

“We’re expecting a tough one but we want to go there and impose ourselves.

“We want to get the new style of play going and win the game. Simple as.

“Mentally we want to go in there saying we want to win the game and there’s no other choice but to win.

“That’s where we’re at in the season now, we have to pick up as many points as possible.

“Whether they’re five places above us or 10 places below us, we want to go and win the game.”

When asked if success is still possible this season, he added: “100 per cent, there’s a really good group of players in there.

“Without probably playing as well as we would have liked, or the fans would have liked, we’re still amongst it.

“We’re in reaching distance. We don’t want to be in this division, we want to push on and get as close to those play-off places as we can and be among it at the end of the season.”

Lavery’s midweek goal was his first since early November as he’s played second fiddle to Elijah Adebayo for most of the season.

Since Adebayo was sold, Lavery has started the last two games and Dutton insists he was raring to go.

“He’s been a caged tiger waiting for his opportunity, banging that door down in the manager’s office,” Dutton said. “He’s got that (chance) and credit to him for his goal. His work-rate again was first class so I couldn’t be more pleased for him.”

When asked if the goal was a weight off his shoulders, Lavery added: “I suppose you can say that, it’s obviously been a frustrating season for me personally.

“I’ve not played as much as I want to but I’ve been patient and taken a chance when I got it. I’m looking to build on that. I’m ready to push on and help the lads as much as I can.”

Under Clarke’s reign, injury news was hard to come by as he was adamant ‘not to do other manager’s work for them’ by giving updates on players.

Dutton, however, answered several questions on individual player injuries following Tuesday’s game.

Neither Stuart Sinclair or Tyreik Wright were involved against Cheltenham and when asked about their knocks, Dutton said: “Stuart Sinclair was in contention (for Cheltenham) but we felt it would be wiser to make sure that he’s fully up to speed before we bring him back in.

“For Sinco it was about managing his body. He felt a couple of things and he’s wise enough now to know that sometimes he needs to loosen up on the reigns.

“Tyreik Wright was knocking on the door as well, so he’ll be touch and go for the next fixture. I haven’t got the correct diagnosis yet for Tyreik, so I won’t speculate, but it’s a small injury so he’s looking to get back for the next fixture.”

Rory Holden and James Clarke have been missing for some time now and although Dutton is hopeful of seeing them soon, he is wary of rushing them.

“James has had an injection and we have to see how he reacts to that,” Dutton added. “I’ve stressed to James and Rory that when they do come back to the group that they’re coming back fully fit and ready to see out the season.

“It’s not a case of rushing them back. We need to manage their bodies because it’s important that they can give 110 per cent and match what the other lads are doing on the pitch. The sooner the better, but we won’t rush him. With James it’s something that has flared up in his knee but he’s not far away.”

When asked for an update on Holden in his press conference this morning, Dutton added: "There's no pressure on Rory, he will be a very important player for Walsall in the future.

"He was out running on the astro turf yesterday but he won't be selected until he is 100 per cent fit, as is the case with all the players.

"Rory Holden, James Clarke and all the other boys will come back and then do a mini pre-season and get there rhythm and timing back before we even think about selecting them for a fixture.

"We won't rush them but positive news that he was back on the astro turf yesterday."

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