Walsall taking their time with Rory Holden, says Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor insists Walsall are being careful not to rush Rory Holden back too soon as he has a ‘vital’ role to play this season.

Rory Holden
Rory Holden

Playmaker Holden featured in the early stages of pre-season for the Saddlers but has struggled with an injury over recent weeks.

Taylor says he is a doubt for this weekend’s League Two opener at Tranmere – Alfie Bates having also been on the sidelines – and the key is to take their time with him.

“Rory, before I joined, he had a bit of a troubled past with injury,” said the Walsall boss.

“He got himself through the first three-and-a-half weeks of pre-season – didn’t miss a session and was working extremely hard.

“His confidence was growing and from a personal point of view, we were really enjoying working with him.

“Unfortunately for him, he had a slight setback.

“So, what we can’t do now is take a chance and push too soon with Rory because we want him to be a vital part of what we do this season at the top end of the pitch.

“It’s disappointing, but we want longevity with Rory, Alfie and all of the players. We want them available for the majority of the season.

“Will Rory be available for Tranmere? I can’t answer that question, unfortunately.

“But what I do know is he’s working extremely hard to make sure he’s fit and back with the players.”

Holden travelled for the final pre-season friendly at Cheltenham this past weekend and did some jogging on the pitch beforehand, while Bates took part in some more intensive drills with a coach.

“When I look at pre-season, we’ve managed the players well as a group of staff,” added Taylor.

“We’ve worked them hard but not picked up any more niggly injuries, touch wood.

“I think we’re doing something right on the training pitch.

“Rory and Alfie are bitterly disappointed, but they’re part of the squad.

“What’s imperative is that we get them back, and when they come back they stay fit.

“As a player I’ve been desperate to rush back and then got injured again for another couple of months.

“We don’t want that to happen to any of our players, and they’re totally on board to get back as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Walsall Ladies have appointed Clint Hughes as first-team manager while Joe McGrath will oversee the development side.

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