Bescot Banter: The woes continue for Walsall

Walsall's winless woes continued last weekend as a clash with bottom-of-the-table Grimsby Town resulted in what would be the Saddlers' seventeenth draw of the league season, as they and the Mariners took a share of the spoils at Blundell Park.

Walsall manager Brian Dutton.
Walsall manager Brian Dutton.

Heading into the match on the back of a goalless draw with 23rd-placed Southend United, the Saddlers were in desperate need of a return to winning ways as their slide towards the relegation zone shows little sign of coming to an end.

Falling behind to James Hanson's ninth-minute strike, the Saddlers were thankfully able to get back on level terms just before they tucked into their half-time orange segments as Caolan Lavery bagged his seventh of the season - ending a seven-game goalless run in the process.

Despite entering the dressing room on the back of Lavery's leveller, yet another stagnant second-half followed as the visitors failed to register a single shot on target, something which is happening all-too-often as of late.

Possibly the more frustrating element of the Saddlers' recent second-half showings is that many games have been there for the taking, and, were it not for our flaccid frontline, we could be basking in the comfort of mid-table mediocrity and not concerned about the ongoing basement battle.

Shortly after the draw with the Mariners, under fire head coach Brian Dutton answered a plethora of press questions and insisted he was 'delighted' to return home with a point in his pocket before claiming the Reds are edging ever-closer to securing safety, this despite the team continuing its residence at the foot of the form table.

Clearly it's important for the manager to foster a positive mindset amongst his squad, and he shouldn't look to be negative for the sake of it, but there is also a need for him to call a spade a spade, especially when said spade appears to be covered in something rather smelly.

The Saddlers have won just one of their eighteen pre-Good Friday outings and if that form continues over the rest of the season then, unless at least two of our relegation rivals also fail to taste victory over the remainder of the campaign, we'll face the very real prospect of spending at least one season in the National League.

With club finances already slashed in the wake of Covid-19, the prospect of a season outside the EFL simply doesn't bear thinking about as income will no doubt continue to plummet, adding yet more height to the already mountainous task the club is facing in 2021/22 and beyond.

Obviously there is a long way to go between now and the end of the season and any manner of things can happen before the curtain comes down in early May, but we're more than a little concerned about what the future holds.

Hopefully, with the recruitment of a Director of Football and the likely summer rebuild that will undoubtedly follow, the team will be in better shape to compete, whether that's in League Two or the National League remains to be seen.

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